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Club News


25 October 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Albion defender Martin Montoya.

Brighton & Hove Albion defender Martin Montoya revealed the close relationship he has with his former Barcelona team-mates also playing in England, and how those individuals have helped him make the transition.

Montoya departed Valencia for a move to the Seagulls this summer, bringing an end to his time in Spain, which included 16 years of progressing through Barcelona’s academy into the first team.

The full-back has made six Premier League appearances since arriving on the south coast, and he touched upon the positive input some of his former team-mates at the Camp Nou have had over recent months.

He said, “I’m still in contact with players who are there and those that have moved on — such as Jordi Alba, Pedro and Oriel Romeu.

“Pedro and Romeu are great friends of mine. They came over and helped me establish myself.

“I haven’t had time to go to Southampton or up to London, but as soon as I get a day off, I definitely will.

“I had a great time at Barcelona. I never played with any fear, but also acknowledged I was playing with legends of the game. There was always a great sense of respect.”

Montoya played alongside five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi during his five seasons in Barcelona’s first team, and the Spaniard commented on his memories of the Argentinian great.

“He’s obviously a legend of the game, but what has stayed with me is the fact that you can never get the ball off him.

“He’s two steps ahead, very elusive and always knows what his next move is before tackles fly in.

“It’s true that he gets nervous. We saw it several times before matches, but at the end of the day, as sports people, we all try to do our best and we’re only human.

“However, because he’s obviously the best, it adds a little bit more pressure to keep on being the best."

Montoya spent a handful of years playing for Barcelona B, and despite not playing with Messi during that period, he remembered the talent he showed when the forward featured for the club’s second team.

“I only came across him in the first team only. However, I do remember seeing him in Barca B and you could clearly see this guy was on a different planet.

“Every time I’ve seen him, he’s very inclusive as part of the team, he’s very humble and a very nice guy. In that respect, he hasn’t changed.”

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