Aleix Vidal has spoken about his time at Barcelona, where he struggled for various reasons to play many games, in an interview with SFC TV.
Vidal’s career took an interesting path as he played for several academies, including Barcelona’s, and then various other teams throughout his professional career, before landing at Sevilla. He signed to Barcelona in 2015 but returned to Sevilla just 3 years later.
Vidal was unable to play the first half of his maiden season at Barça because the club was banned from registering new players. After that, he struggled to take the place of Dani Alves in the starting XI.
In his second season, his competition for the right-back spot was Sergi Roberto, who had converted from midfield. Despite Vidal’s best efforts, Luis Enrique preferred Roberto most of the time.
“At Barcelona, in the first year and a half I almost didn’t play,” Vidal admitted, saying he started getting low on confidence. “When I did, if I made a mistake, the fans put a lot of pressure on me.”
Eventually, however, Vidal took advantage of an injury to Roberto to play a few matches and get into a good rhythm. “When I got a string of three or four games, I owned the position until I injured myself.”
He suffered a dislocated ankle in the last minutes of a win over Deportivo Alavés that ruled him out for the rest of the season.
“Perhaps if I don’t injury myself, today I am still the starter at Barcelona. Perhaps not,” he reflected.
Vidal did score a memorable goal in el clásico among other notable moments in Ernesto Valverde’s first season in charge. However, Nélson Semedo and Roberto locked down the right-back spot, meaning Vidal was used infrequently as a backup winger. He was told to look for another club last summer. He ended up returning to Sevilla, the team that gave him one of his biggest breaks in his career.
Vidal admitted that despite a lot of heartbreak, he was very thankful for his career so far:
“I went from wanting to retire and go back to my hometown (Valls, in Catalonia), to arriving at Sevilla, winning the Europa League, debuting with the Spanish national team, and playing along with the best in the world at Barcelona. It took me a while, but you never know what life has in store for you.”