Playing in a tournament like the Copa del Rey for the first time is always exciting for any player, even more so when the first match is against Real Madrid. Nathan Jawai will feature in his first Spanish Cup match this Thursday. Along with Abrines and Todorovic, he’s the only player on the Blaugrana roster that hasn’t played in the knock-out tournament.

“I’m ready for the match. They’ve told me great things about the tournament and I’m very eager to play in it for the first time,” said the Australian. He added that the team will be extra motivated seeing that their first match will be against Real Madrid. “I knew about the rivalry between the two sides, but it wasn’t until the match at the Palau Blaugrana that I really understood it. It’s impressive, it’s more than a game,” said Jawai.

Happy to play for Barcelona

His excellent footwork, combined with his power, have made him a fan favourtie at the Palau Blaugrana. “It’s impressive. During my time at Partizan the fans cheered us on as well, but last season in Kazan the fans didn’t really get behind the team, it was a very cold atmosphere. But here the fans cheer you on, in the good and bad times, it’s very special for me.

“There’s a big difference between Barcelona and Kazan!” said Jawai when asked about his impressions of the city. “You can go out in public here, have a meal ...  it’s one of the best cities in the world.” He added: “The climate in Barcelona is much more like my hometown, which is very hot, however it hasn’t been windy here for a while,” chuckled Jawai as he compared Bamaga, his place of birth, with Barcelona.

Finally, Jawai wanted to send  a message to the fans: “I hope a lot of fans come out to support us in Vitoria. We’ll try to play a good match and we’ll give it our all.”

Barça Regal take to the court on February 7 at 19.00 against Real Madrid.

One Cup title with Partizan

In the 2010/11 season, Jawai played for Partizan Belgrade. The Australian player won the Cup, the Adriatic League and the Serbian League.

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