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Samuel Umtiti has been hurt by taunts from Barcelona supporters, but the disgraced defender is more determined than ever to succeed at Camp Nou.

The French center-back arrived from Lyon ahead of the 2016-17 season and made 50 La Liga appearances in his first two campaigns.

However, a string of knee injuries restricted his involvement over the next three seasons and the defender was said to have been one of the many top earners Barca reportedly tried to change in the final transfer window as the giants in financial difficulty were trying to alleviate their growing debts.

The situation came to a head during the Joan Gamper Trophy preparatory game against Juventus in which Umtiti was whistled by spectators during the warm-up and again a target every time he touched the ball after coming in. play as a substitute in the second half.

Umtiti hasn’t played a minute of competitive action since this season and his treatment by the fans has left him feeling isolated.

“Yes [the whistles hurt], a lot, honestly, “he said in an exclusive interview with Mundo Deportivo.

“I never thought that could happen to me at this club because I love it, I love this club.

“I do everything, everything, to be well. I had a hard time with injuries but in the end I do my job and that is the most important thing for me. Work and train hard, and the people don’t know.

“[I would tell those who whistle] that I’m fine. That the most important thing is the club, help the players, you have to help everyone. Whistling is unnecessary. I will give my all for the club, as I have tried to do since day one. “

The 27-year-old has been the subject of reported interest from former club Lyon and Manchester United, but he remains adamant about his future at Camp Nou with a January exit ruled out.

“I don’t see myself playing in another club, no, impossible. At the moment, I have it very clearly [in my mind],” he added.

“I want to show that I have the level to play here. The most important thing is to come back and show everyone that Samu is okay.

“It’s clear to me, the most important thing now is to play here because it is my club, I love this club. I want to succeed here, to play, to win with my teammates, with the team.

“I see myself here, I am waiting for this moment to play. I have to continue to train, to work and to show that I have a place.”

Despite his ostracism from the first-team photo, Umtiti insists he has no problem with head coach Ronald Koeman – whose own position has been threatened amid an indifferent start to the season that started with the exit of Blaugrana legend Lionel Messi mainly due to the club’s financial difficulties.

Umtiti, however, says he hasn’t specifically asked the Dutchman for more playing time as he believes he needs to prove his worth on the training ground.

“I can’t ask for anything, because the coach makes the decisions and I have to accept them. I have to train and show that I’m okay,” he said.

“Ask for something? I won’t and I think it shouldn’t be done. I have to prove it on the pitch.

“We have six center-backs and I knew it would be difficult to play but I’m like that, if I have something in mind and I’m sure I have the level, I intend to prove it. “

When it comes to his injury issues, Umtiti is adamant he’s fitter and stronger than ever before and can’t wait for a chance to prove it, while saying that the work he’s done behind the scenes to recover was not fully appreciated.

“Nobody knows what I have done and what I am doing. The workouts I do, the double sessions. I am a worker,” he said.

“Football is my life, Barcelona is my life. As I don’t speak, people think I’m doing nothing, that I’m on the couch all day doing nothing but at home I’m working, I’m trains every day.

“We can train every day but I miss the rhythm of the matches. Rhythm, rhythm, I hope that reaches me.”


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