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After leaving FC Barcelona after 12 years at the Club, Jonathan Dos Santos will face his old team on Sunday evening when Villarreal visit the Camp Nou. In an exclusive interview with www.fcbarcelona.com he tells us how he’s settled in at Villarreal and gives his views on Luis Enrique’s team’s progress.
How are you settling in at Villarreal?
“I’ve been here for six months now and I’m 100% acclimatised. Being here with my brother has made it easier and I’m very happy at how the team is doing and the good run we are on”
So having your brother Giovanni has made a big difference?
“Yes, the truth is that it really has. If I’d gone to another club I am sure it would have been harder to settle in - Giovanni has been a fundamental”
It must have been tough to change after 12 years at FC Barcelona
“Of, course. My life was there and I still have my friends and my family in Barcelona. I was a bit down for the first couple of months because Villarreal is quite a small town, but I’ve got used to that now. I miss Barcelona and my friends and family, but I am very happy with the way I have been treated here. It was important for me to go to Villarreal and play and that’s what I am doing”.
You started the season on the bench, but now you are a key part of the team. How do you see that?
“I found it hard at the start because I was coming off an injury ¡, but I trained hard and took my chances when I came on. I knew it was just a matter of time and that I had to take things one step at a time. The coach has given me confidence and making me feel an important part of the side. I have to carry on working hard, improving and showing what I can do.
Villarreal are now on an 18-game unbeaten run, what are your main strengths?
“We play with a lot of intensity and we are hungry to achieve things. We also have a very demanding manager who is always available when you need him – that’s why we’ve gone 18 games unbeaten in all three competitions. I am very happy to be a part of this family”.
What will Villarreal have to do to win at the Camp Nou on Sunday?
“I think it will be a very hard game, like every game you play at the Camp Nou. We know that Barça are strong at home. We are on a good run and we are full of confidence that we can take the three points and we will go into the match determined to stand up to them. We know that Barça can kill a game at any moment and we have to be careful with every little detail. We are coming to the Camp Nou with the aim of winning the game”.
You’ll also be up against Barça in the Cup semi-finals – how do you see that going?
“We’re going to have three very intense games, with two attractive semi-finals. It’s the first semi-final in our history and we are very excited. We know Barça are the best team in the world, but we will play our own game and hope we get through to the final, though we know it will be tough”.
You’ve lost fewer games on the road than any other team in La Liga - do you you’re your away games specially?
“No, we play the same as we do at home and we’ll try and go into Sunday’s game with the same attitude that we have when we play at home”.
What does it mean to you personally to be coming back to the Camp Nou?
“It’s a very special game for me, coming back to the Camp Nou as a visitor after 12 years there, playing against my ex-teammates. Let’s just hope it’s a good game a special game!”
Are you still in contact with any Barça players?
“Yes, with Rafinha, Dani Alves and a few others – those who I spent most time with when I was at the Club”
What do you think of Barça this season? Have you been following their games?
“Yes, I think I’ve seen nearly all of them. They are a side who have grown n confidence and are improving all the time. I think they are probably playing at their very best right now. It’s bad luck for us to be facing them now – they really are looking good”.
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