Emerson tells Barcelona: I'm not scared – I'm ready to play

With Quique Setien said to be eager to bring him to Camp Nou this year, Emerson insists he is ready for Barcelona's first team.

Emerson

Barcelona boss Quique Setien, who worked with Emerson (CL) at Betis, is keen on bringing the latter to Camp Nou.   -  Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Emerson has told Barcelona he feels ready to play for the first team amid rumours he could move to Camp Nou this year.

The Brazilian has played 23 La Liga matches this season with Real Betis after moving to Spain in 2019.

Barca struck a €12million deal to sign the full-back on a five-year contract from Atletico Mineiro, although Betis paid half that sum for 50 per cent of his registration rights before taking him to Seville.

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As part of that deal, the Catalans are said to have the option to sign him outright for an initial €6m in 2021, but it has been reported that Barca boss Quique Setien, who worked with Emerson at Betis, wants to bring that move forward to this year.

The 21-year-old insists he would have no concerns about joining Barca, having improved his defensive displays markedly under Setien and then Rubi, who took charge when Setien – who succeeded Ernesto Valverde as Blaugrana coach in January – departed at the end of last season.

"First Setien and then Rubi insisted I should defend better. I get forward easily, but it's harder at the back. I started working on that and things have changed a lot," Emerson told AS.

"The reality is, in Brazil, I didn't have to do as much as a defender. Closing spaces and tactics are much more at work in Europe than there.

"I didn't think I'd get to this level so early. I think this season I'm having is without a doubt the best of my life. Things are going quickly for me. I'm young, but I'm ready to play for any team.

"Yes, I'm ready to play for Barcelona. I've also been asked before about going up to the Brazil senior team and my answer was the same.

"I'm not scared at all. Playing for Barca is a dream I've had since I was a child. I was always a Barca fan for the Brazilian stars that played there, like Ronaldinho or Dani Alves. And also for [Lionel] Messi or [Eric] Abidal.

"I have four idols: Dani Alves, Cafu, Roberto Carlos and Marcelo. Many people compare my story with Alves', yes. He's an example. I also want to play in the Champions League with Barcelona and win as many cups as possible."

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