Zubi: “Afellay has Barça DNA”
Xavi Rocamora / Roger Bogunyà
The sports director of professional football, Andoni Zubizarreta, told the ‘ADN Barça’ show on Barça TV that Ibrahim Afellay is a player he has always been interested in because he’s the ideal player for the FCB style.
Zubizarreta described the player as “young, with a lot of experience, international, who can
lose his marker, shoot from long range and play well down the wings.” He went as far as to
compare him with Iniesta “because of the way he moves” and also feels his wide game
will add width to the team.
Afellay does sign for Barça, Zubizarreta believes he’ll settle in reasonably quickly.
“He has to learn to play with this team, where there is a high level of competition. We have
heard that he has a positive attitude and I think he knows what team he’s coming to and which
players he will be fighting with for a team place”. The former Barça goalkeeper also
commented that he “wants to close relations with PSV nicely and not in a cold fashion in the
summer. That is positive in terms of implication”.
Zubizarreta said that although the club is after the player for what he can do as a
footballer, the economic question was also a matter of interest. “It is an excellent
opportunity. The sporting and financial prospects that Barça can offer him are good”, he
said, adding that he ends his contact in the summer of 2011, when he becomes a free agent.
“We always have our eye on players that are coming to the end of their contracts”, said
Zubizarreta, adding that the club has been watching him especially carefully for the last two
No barriers on youth players
Afellay’s arrival be a problem for some of members of the B team? “That has nothing to
do with it. We can always use players from Barça B if we need them. But this is a winger, with an
excellent middle range shot and great at set pieces”, which is something Zubizarreta does not
feel Luis Enrique’s side has to offer.
Keeping things calm
Aside from Afellay, Andoni Zubizarreta also spoke about the controversy over the clásico
being switched to Monday. “Playing on Monday gives us time to rest and prepare, but we know
it’s not good for people who don’t live in Barcelona … But we’d rather talk
about football, and what’s happening on the pitch. We know we are on excellent form. The
other talk is not good for us”.