Umtiti aims to keep im­prov­ing to live out his dream at Barca

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

FRANCE in­ter­na­tional Sa­muel Umtiti has com­pleted a “dream move” to Barcelona know­ing he is not guar­an­teed a first-team place, but says he is will­ing to learn to prove his po­ten­tial.

The 22-year-old cen­tre-back, who had a fine sea­son with Olympique Ly­on­nais, earned his first France cap in their 5-2 Euro 2016 quar­ter-fi­nal tri­umph over Ice­land.

He has signed a five-year con­tract with Barca fol­low­ing his 25 mil­lion eu­ros move from Lyon and his buy-out clause has been set at 60 mil­lion eu­ros.

“I’m thrilled and very moved to be here,” Umtiti said at his of­fi­cial un­veil­ing yes­ter­day. “This is a dream come true... Barca was the club of my dreams.

“I like Barcelona’s men­tal­ity and their style of play. I hope I can adapt rapidly to the team and I will do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to prove that I can be a part of this fam­ily.

“There are great play­ers at this club and I can’t wait to play with them.”

Umtiti is the sec­ond French in­ter­na­tional to join the Span­ish cham­pi­ons this week af­ter de­fender Lu­cas Digne ar­rived from Paris Saint-Ger­main on a five-year deal.

Umtiti ac­cepts that he faces stiff com­pe­ti­tion for a start­ing place.

“I’ve come here to progress with play­ers that have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence and from whom I will be able to learn,” he said. “There are great play­ers in my po­si­tion but I’m com­pet­i­tive and I want to play, al­though the im­por­tant thing is that I learn.

“I man­aged to play at the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship but it’s not enough. I need to keep prov­ing my po­ten­tial to re­turn to the na­tional team.”

Barca beat sev­eral top Pre- mier League clubs to Umtiti’s sig­na­ture.

“We fol­lowed him last sea­son and we re­ally liked him,” Barcelona sport­ing direc­tor Robert Fer­nan­dez said. “It was not an easy ne­go­ti­a­tion as there were English clubs in­ter­ested in him.

“Umtiti is a young player, who can play in dif­fer­ent po­si­tions and de­spite be­ing left­footed, he has proved he can play on the right.” – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.