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Jules Kounde reveals Xavi speech that made him choose Barcelona over Chelsea

Jules Kounde, FC Barcelona
© FC Barcelona

The France international turned down the chance to join Chelsea in the summer in favor of a move to Barcelona.

Jules Kounde has revealed how Xavi Hernandez wooed him into joining Barcelona over Chelsea.

The 23-year-old completed a €50 million move to Camp Nou in the summer on a five-year deal from Sevilla after extensive talks with the Barcelona manager and his Chelsea counterpart, Thomas Tuchel.

“First, I have come to a huge club, which has known good times and which, lately, has had less,” Kunde told L’Equipe about his decision to join Barca.

“I come to a project that I would not call reconstruction, because we already have a competitive team, but rather, being upturned. I was interested in being part of this new wave, in search of titles, and to put Barca back where it has always been, among the best clubs.

“Then there was the conversation with the coach. We talked about football. I felt real confidence from him, that he had a real knowledge of myself, my game, and my qualities.

“I spoke with Tuchel and I also felt that he wanted me to come, but I simply preferred Xavi’s speech.”

Kounde is suited for Xavi’s style

Despite the club taking a month to register him, Kounde has made an excellent start. The defender has helped Barcelona keep four clean sheets in his five appearances, as well as supplying two assists.

“When I talked to Xavi, he told me that my qualities correspond to his game plan, starting from the back, playing high, using my qualities of speed and anticipation,” Kounde said.

“He also wants an aggressive team – we are one of the teams that presses high.

“He saw me in this system and I too saw myself in this team that I saw make a pretty crazy rise in the table last season.

“With Sevilla, we were 15 points ahead of them in the middle of the season. Xavi arrived, and I saw the changes he made and what direction he was going in. I liked it.”