- Copy link
Born in Sabadell, and having played in the youth categories and first team at FC Barcelona, Cristian Tello now faces his third season at Real Betis. A season in which there have been changes, starting with the coaching staff. The ex-Blaugrana recognises that stepping onto the Camp Nou "is always special," and that he experienced “one of his best stages as a football player” at Barça. The Betis striker was interviewed by official club media.
It's your third season at Betis, how are you getting on?
Well, I think that each time a player completes a season he feels more important, more integrated into the team. I know the players of this squad perfectly, I am very settled at the club and very happy.
This season there have been many changes in the team. Lo Celso, Junior, Pau López and the technical staff have left with Juanmi, Fekir, Borja Iglesias and a new technical team arriving. How will you face the season with all these changes?
I think Betis' philosophy doesn't change and I'll face it as usual. Yes, it's true that the entire coaching staff is new, but I think the coach has emphasised everything the team had. In addition, the players who have come in will bring different things that we needed last year.
In fact, you already worked with Rubi at FC Barcelona in 2013/2014 when he was there. What sensations does Rubi transmit?
He's a coach who is very close to the players and is always on top of the small details. The training is very intense, he scrutinises each exercise, works with each individual and tries to greatly improve the details on the pitch.
Last year Betis won at Camp Nou 3-4. Is it possible to repeat that performance?
I think we are aware that to win at Camp Nou we have to play a practically perfect match, but I think we have the team for it. Against Valladolid we had some bad luck, but we were very focused. Yes, I think we can win again at Camp Nou.
Is that match a reference point for you all?
Things have changed a lot since that game. I think we have new concepts and we are playing differently from last year. The important thing is to feel comfortable on the pitch, not be afraid to have the ball and try to dominate the game.
In that game, Junior's performance was very good. Do you think that Barça have made a good signing?
Yes, very much. He's a left-back with a lot of potential. He is still very young, but has great qualities and will be a very important player for the club.
What have Barça bought in Junior?
You're keeping what you already have with Jordi Alba; depth in attack, hard working when attacking and defending, and good rhythm on the left side.
Would you give Junior any specific advice on how to succeed at Barça?
It's very easy. He's at a club that from the first moment he should be able to integrate very well because the staff are very close-knit. The players in the dressing room are spectacular and I think he has the opportunity to learn from the best left-back in the world, Jordi Alba. That will help him a lot going forward.
How do you see Barça from a distance?
I see them as last season, a very good team. We know about the individual quality, but we also know that they're a team that, if you want to win against them, you have to be practically perfect on the day.
What do you think of the signings that the club has made this year?
I think that Barça is always a club that is well reinforced. Each player that arrives at that club is going to be very important, and especially this year they have given the coach key pieces that were missing, meaning they have even more quality.
Is it special to step on the Camp Nou again?
Yes, so much. It's the team that gave me the opportunity to debut in the first division. I have a lot of love for Barça and I appreciate all the people there. I experienced the best moments as a player who was trying to get to the top, and when you join the first team with all the enthusiasm that entails. I think it will be very special to return.
How do you remember your stage at Barça?
With very good feelings, especially the education. For me, it was a proud moment to be able to be training with players such as Xavi, Puyol, Iniesta, Messi, Busquets, Jordi Alba... They are players from whom you learn every day. They make you better on the field and as a person too. I was very young and it was a year of total learning.
Do you have a particularly fond memory?
The best memory is the day I debuted in the first division, at Villarreal. I think it was a unique opportunity and one that everyone has from their childhood.
- Copy link