Pau Cubarsí 'living an authentic dream'

Pau Cubarsí 'living an authentic dream'

In an in-depth exclusive interview with the FC Barcelona media, the young centre back explains his feelings right now

Pau Cubarsí is having the time of his life. He only just turned 17 and he's already a regular part of the FC Barcelona first team. His recent performances against Napoli and Atlético Madrid have especially shown that he is no longer a future investment. He is a player for here and now.

How are you coping with all this?

I'm relaxed right now. My family and friends are helping me to keep my feet on the ground, which is fundamental. It means I am so much calmer about everything that's happening to me.


That says a lot about you. Do you feel the pressure? 

Yes, of course. But when you play for Barça there's always extra pressure because wearing this shirt is the most important thing in the world. So, we are playing under a lot of pressure, but that just makes us better footballers and it shows.

How does a 17-year-old feel to be praised so much by their lifetime club?

It makes me proud, because I have been at this club all my life. But when I go onto the pitch I'm not thinking about my age. I feel like one more player helping the team, and I just try to give everything I have.

You were named MVP against Napoli. Were you surprised to get that award? How did it feel?

To be honest I thought they were teasing me. But when I found out, I was very pleased for the job I had done for the team because much as it's an individual honour, it's for the whole team. I have to say I felt very happy.


How do you deal with nerves, not giving away balls, being accurate. It's hard for a centre back not to make any mistakes. 

I'd say it comes naturally. It's the way I've always played. I couldn't really say!

Xavi says he feels more relaxed when you have the ball because he knows you'll do the right thing. How does it feel for someone so important to speak of you that way? 

I feel privileged. For Xavi Hernández, not just the coach but also one of the best players of all time, to say that is really nice. I'm very happy that he has so much faith in me, and all the other young players too. We are making the most of the opportunities.

What has been Xavi's role in your breakthrough?

He always has faith in the youth system. He helps us to make the most of our chances and treats us like one more member of the team. We are very happy with him.

And which players have especially helped you to settle into the squad? 

All of them to be honest. We're a tight unit, a great team. But especially Ronald, he's helped me tactically and personally, and João Cancelo, who's one of the funniest guys in the team. He's always happy and makes you feel comfortable.

I feel privileged. For Xavi Hernández, not just the coach but also one of the best players of all time, to say that is really nice.

Do you play jokes?

Oh yes, there are lots of jokes!

Do you have a nickname?

Well, they sing “Cu-Cu-Cubarsí” in the dressing room like the fans do. But I like that. It's all part of the dream.

What have they taught you as a footballer? 

I always try to get better by imitating them because they're the best in the world. I try to watch the players in my position and get better by copying the positive things. I try to make the most of everything.  

How would you define yourself as a footballer?

I'd say I'm a pretty calm player, I always try to get the ball out of defence with it under control. I try to spot good passes and give everything in duels.

Who are your references? 

I've always said that my idols are Puyol and Piqué. Puyol was about security, ambition and character, both on and off the pitch. He was a role model. And Piqué is another. I watched him on TV when I was little and liked his style. I visualise the way he played.

What role has La Masia had in your sporting and personal development? 

When I came here as a little kid they started teaching me about Barça DNA. I like this kind of football, always with the ball, and I'm very grateful for everything they taught me at La Masia, as a person too. The values, because this is more than a club, and how they helped not just with my football but also academically.


Lamine Yamal also came out of la Masia. How would you define him? 

Lamine is a key player, even though he's still very young. He gives us a lot. In the 1x1, calmness, goals. I have been in the academy for years so I know exactly what he's like. He's a really nice person, he always wants to help, he makes jokes... He loves the team and I'm so happy that he's achieving what he is. His presence in the squad helps me to feel more comfortable. We both know each other and have been though a lot together and so we can help each other more.

What do you expect from the rest of the season on a team level?

The main challenges are to win the Champions as usual and not to give up in La Liga. There are still lots of games to play and at Barça we always fight until the end. I have no doubt that we'll do that.

Beating Napoli in the Champions League was a special night. Can you tell us about that? 

We went out onto the pitch feeling very ambitious and things worked out very well. We can feel pleased with that. After such a good evening the mood is always positive and the team is more united. That showed against Atlético Madrid. Most of all, it has helped us with future challenges.

How is the team approaching those challenges? 

Very well. We want to show what we're made of. People might have given up on us, but we are still fighting for two trophies.

Next up in Europe it's PSG...

We're looking forward to it. After so many years without reaching the quarter finals, we'll give it one hundred per cent. It'll be a nice game for the fans, and it will test us to the limits. We want to do everything we can to get the team into the semi-finals.

You'll be up against one of the best players you could face?

I haven't thought about it yet, but I'll try to be myself and play as hard as I can. But the real key is for the team to play its best. The first half against Napoli was really good and we need a complete game like that against PSG, with the right intensity. And we need to stop PSG's forwards and convert our own chances. 

And finally, the million dollar question. Where do you see yourself ten years from now? 

I will just keep working to make sure things keep going well. In ten years time I hope I'm still at my lifetime club, at Barça, being an important part of it and giving all I have in every training session and every game.

Força Barça
Força Barça

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