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Riqui Puig ‘hurt’ by Xavi’s treatment at Barcelona

The midfielder felt let down

LA Galaxy v LAFC Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Riqui Puig has been talking about his exit from Barcelona and says he was hurt by the way he was treated by Xavi.

The Barcelona coach made it clear that Puig was not in his plans for the future which led the midfielder to move on to LA Galaxy.

Puig says that after Xavi told him he wasn’t in his plans for the new season he also wouldn’t let him train ahead of the new campaign which upset the midfielder.

“Before the end of the season we sat down and he told me that next year he didn’t count on me,” he said.

“I believe I was not treated fairly when I came back to training in pre-season last summer, when the club did not let me train with them. I think that if I still have a contract with the club, I should be able to act like that and they can’t tell me not to train with them.

“That’s what really annoyed me during my last years there. As soon as this happened, I tried to look for my way out pretty quickly. I had the LA Galaxy option quite advanced and I wanted to move abroad, change my life and go to the other side of the world.”

The midfielder says the decision not to let him train hurt more because he had enjoyed a close relationship with Xavi until that time.

“Xavi called me and my family two times in the past to try to convince us into moving to Qatar when he was there,” he added.

“There was a close relationship between his parents and my family, we are both from the same city in Catalonia, Terrassa.

“To be honest, that’s what hurts me the most as a footballer but also as a friend that we believed we were with Xavi’s family.

“In the end I couldn’t succeed in Barcelona, it can happen and it was my turn to look for other options in football. But the fact of not being allowed to train with the team during the first weeks of preseason angered me a lot.”

Yet Xavi wasn’t the only manager that Puig failed to impress at Camp Nou. The midfielder also worked under Ernesto Valverde, Ronald Koeman and Quique Setien but couldn’t find a way into the first team.

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