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‘I feel like a footballer again’ – Barcelona star aims a dig at Koeman

Riqui Puig, FC Barcelona
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A change in manager over at Camp Nou appears to have sparked hope for the La Masia graduate.

Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig says he feels ‘like a footballer again’.

The 22-year-old, a product of the club’s famed ‘La Masia’ academy, has played 66 minutes of football across two appearances in new manager Xavi Hernandez’s first three La Liga games.

That’s already 54% of the 123 minutes he had seen under former boss Ronald Koeman all season. The Dutchman never rated Puig highly and often left him benched in games. Therefore, the Catalan’s development took a hit as his minutes dried up over at Camp Nou.

“Any footballer wants to play. I am having minutes, I am happy. I feel like a footballer again,” said Puig as per Diario Sport.

The former Spain U-21 international made these remarks following a 54-minute cameo against Real Betis on Saturday. Barcelona lost the match 1-0 at home, causing them to slip 16 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid in seventh.

However, ahead of a decisive Champions League trip to Bayern Munich, Puig remains confident.

He added: “Let’s see if the results accompany us. We can fight for the league and on Wednesday in the Champions League we qualify.”