In conversation with Cadena SER’s ‘Que T’hi Jugues’ program, Mamady Moriba, father of Barcelona’s promising midfielder Ilaix Moriba, has revealed that the youngster is determined to stay and succeed with the club under any circumstances.
Ilaix has enjoyed a spectacular debut season with the Barcelona first team after breaking through the ranks in Garcia Pimienta’s B side. Despite his extremely young age of 18, his quality has seen him make massive steps up the ladder, skipping the need to play for the Juvenil A squad entirely.
Moriba has already made ten first team appearances this season, scoring his first goal for the club and also providing three assists in the process. He looks to be a fantastic prospect with a terrific repertoire of all-round abilities and will surely be a mainstay in the Barcelona side in years to come.
In the interview, Mamady, his father, stated that Ilaix is fully committed to the club and despite offers from different clubs around the world, the 18-year old chose to stay: “We had offers from England and Juve, with City there was a meeting scheduled, there was money… But we want to succeed in Barcelona. Madrid? Let’s talk about something else. We are focused on Barça.”
Mamady was also full of gratitude for coach Ronald Koeman, who has allowed Ilaix so many opportunities to showcase his immense talents: “We want Ilaix to be an example of La Masia, that’s why we renewed back in the day. I have no words for Koeman, we thank him for giving him the opportunity to play at a team like Barça. We have to thank him very much.”
Ilaix’s massive range of ability has drawn him comparisons to many of the world’s top midfielders like Yaya Toure and more closely, Sergio Busquets at Barcelona. The player’s father was beaming with pride about his son being in the same bracket s so many top players.
“Ilaix is compared with Pogba, with Touré, with Busquets… We’re very grateful but Ilaix is Ilaix. I’m left with the comparison with Busquets, who’s a phenomenon and I wish Ilaix could follow the same path at Barça,” Mamady told Cadena SER.
Speaking about Ilaix’s renewal, which may well be a priority for Barcelona given his recent displays, Mamady said: “We’re not in a hurry. The future depends on the club. We are doing well here. I’m very grateful to Barça, we have a good relationship with Ramón Planes and Bakero.”