The much-discussed return of Eric Garcia to Barcelona is finally a reality. The former La Masia defender has returned home on a free transfer from Manchester City. President Joan Laporta continues to hammer the nail on its head and secure as many low-cost reinforcements for the team as possible.
During his presentation, the youngster was delighted to be back at his boyhood club and spoke about what it meant. At the same time, Laporta took the time to welcome the Spaniard, clarify his thoughts and provide an insight into Ronald Koeman’s situation.
Here is what Garcia had to say during his unveiling.
“I would like to thank the president, Yuste, Mateu and Ramon for all the effort. We both wanted to get to the same place and here we are. It’s a dream come true. A future full of success awaits us. I will give everything for this shirt,” he began.
“My dream was to play in the first team of Barça since I was little,” he added.
On comparisons with Gerard Pique, Garcia said: “The fact they compare me with him is a cause for joy, but there’s no point. I’m just starting, and Piqué has been the best centre-back in the last 10 years.”
He then spoke about his departure back in 2017: “At that time La Masia wasn’t trusted as much as it is today. The project they offered me in Manchester was very attractive and I’m very happy with the experience there, which has helped me to come back here.”
Garcia also revealed initial contacts with Laporta that gave him the confidence that he would return: “When the elections were over, the President confirmed to me that he liked me, so everything went well. There’s no pressure. I like to win and I want to start this way.”
About Ansu Fati, he said: “We have a very close relationship since he arrived at Barça as a youngster. I appreciate him and I love him very much and I want to play with him at the Camp Nou. We used to say it when we were little. He had an injury, but he will return to a very high level.”
He also praised Pep Guardiola highly, saying: “I’m very grateful to Pep Guardiola, I have grown a lot under his order. He makes players grow a lot and he showed it here and in Manchester.”
Next, he spoke about what his role in the team might be: “I will be prepared to play where the coach asks me to play. The competition between centre-backs here is at a very high level and it will be the coach’s decision who plays.”
About his centre-back partners, he said: “Araújo and Mingueza have shown a great level. If we can play together, we will do our best for the club.”