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Adama Traoré is back home, having previously spent 11 years at Barça. In an exclusive interview with Barça TV, the winger talks about his time at La Masia, where he spent his formative years as a player and experienced some very successful times. Here are thoughts of Barça's number 11:
“I am very happy to be back to what has always been my home, I have very fond memories and a lot of experiences from my time here. I was born in this city and I have always loved this Club”.
“I always knew that I wanted to come back, but sometimes paths diverge. The main thing is that the objective was clear and I am here now, which is what I always wanted”.
“Things are gradually changing for the better and I am going to contribute. We have more experienced players, but I also hope to give the young players advice, I have played with some tremendous players”.
Memories of La Masia
“I have a lot of memories from playing here. Training sessions, teammates, learning… so many nice moments. I haven't had chance yet, but I would like to go and see the youth teams and La Masia again, I'll get down there soon”.
“I learnt at La Masia, I ate and spent most of my day there, even after training. It's why I am here now”.
Developing as a player
“I have matured now. I have experience from English football, while still conserving everything I learnt from Barça since I was a young boy. All experiences that helped me develop as a player”.
Teammates past and present
“I am still in touch with many ex-teammates. Samper, Bagnack, Sergi Canós, Bellerín, Munir, Denis… we are in touch and it's always good to see them and have a chat about things”.
“Some teammates from the national team, like Busquets, Jordi Alba, and Ansu sent me welcome messages telling me they were happy I was coming back”.
Remembering training as a youth with Xavi
“I have very happy memories about seeing Xavi. It was unusual at the time, as the youth teams trained in the Miniestadi. Now training is here in the Ciudad Esportiva and it's easier to cross paths. It is a very happy memory for me, seeing the first team players… being able to learn from them and listen to their advice. I wanted to get to where they were, to listen, to learn what they did, and take their advice on how to reach the first team. That was such a great moment for me”.
His time in Barça's youth teams
“I wouldn't change a thing, I learnt something new every year, every year at the school is different. It was a superb experience, with great coaches at every youth level. They taught me so much and educated me as a footballer”.
An anecdote from Switzerland while with the Under-16 Bs
“It was just like Franc Artiga said. While at a tournament in Switzerland, when I was a first year under-16 player, we were at a restaurant and I went to the bathroom. I couldn't hear my teammates when I came out… I spoke a bit of French, asked about the team, and they told me that the coach had left. I saw it go by the window and I ran after the coach until I managed to get them to stop. I remember getting leg cramps at the time, and that night too. Everyone remembers that moment...”
His debut with the first team in 2013
“That was such a happy day for me, my family and friends. The coach, Tata Martino, told me to remain calm and it was an incredible experience. I replaced Neymar too, who I have always admired as a player. I was so happy to be on the pitch with such great players, it's such a great memory. The first goal, that was against Huesca in the Copa del Rey, and it was a very special goal”.
How he ended up signing for Barça
“I always discuss important decisions with my family, who are always there for me through thick and thin. However, I had no doubts this time, Barça is my home and I wanted to come back, and my family were fully behind me. It was a quick decision once I received call about having the chance to come back”.
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