Rising Barcelona starlet Cristian Tello speaks exclusively to FourFourTwo's Andrew Murray. He discusses facing Manchester City in Europe and his love for the Premier League, but has some bad news for reported suitors Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur - he doesn't have any plans to leave Camp Nou...
What do you make of the game against Man City?
It’ll be a very difficult game. City are enjoying a very good season, they’re producing some fantastic results. We’ll be trying our best to get a good result in Manchester so that we can return to our own stadium and our own fans in a good place to finish off the tie. It’ll be very difficult, whatever happens.
- Appearances 5 (1 goal)
- Appearances 39 (9)
- Appearances 79 (19)
- La Liga 2013
- Copa del Rey 2012
- Supercopa 2013
Have you seen many of their games this season?
Yeah, I watch quite a lot of the Premier League and have seen a few of City’s games. Up front they’ve got players who score lots of goals and are very quick, which we’ll find difficult to stop. Despite that, we’ve got a team that’s very well prepared to face them and hopefully do well.
Have you played against an English team in your career?
No, I’ve never had the opportunity. I’ve always watched a lot of English football and love the pace of everything over there and the speed of Premier League counter-attacks. It’ll be a great experience.
What does Manuel Pellegrini bring to a team?
He always lets his teams play. He gives them freedom and they never throw away the ball unnecessarily when they have it. His teams always play the ball out from the back. Here in Spain he had a lot of success, especially at Villarreal, and we know he’ll be a difficult rival.
How would you sum up your first six months of the season?
Like always, we approach games with a mixture of seriousness and excitement. We’re still alive in every competition and have some difficult matches coming up, but the team has the talent and the good preparation to achieve everything we want to this season.
What would it mean to go to the World Cup?
The truth is it would be a dream to play for Spain - in my eyes, the best country there is - at a World Cup. It would give me a huge amount of pride and I want to try to keep doing good things for Barcelona that will help me go. It would be very exciting to go.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
It’s difficult to say. I try to look at things day-by-day and work hard in training to improve. I want to be at Barcelona for a long time.
Describe yourself in three words.
Oof, that’s difficult. Sporting-wise: quick, goalscorer and skilful. In terms of my personal characteristics: shy, loyal and happy. I’d say I’m only shy in way of being, because when I go on the pitch I think I’m different and I’m always talking to my team-mates. I think that distinction helps.