Samuel Umtiti.

Samuel Umtiti admits he cried after learning about Barcelona interest

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Just a few weeks ago, Samuel Umtiti wasn't exactly a household name amongst football fans outside of Lyon.

Things have changed dramatically over the past month, however, as the 22-year-old centre-back has transformed from a promising defender plying his trade in Ligue 1 to a starter for his country in the final of Euro 2016 and a high-profile Barcelona signing.

The rapid rise up the footballing pecking order appears to have come as something of a shock to Umtiti himself. Indeed, speaking on his move to the Camp Nou, Umtiti has revealed how he was left overwhelmed when it became apparent the La Liga giants were interested in him:


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"I must thank all the people who have made this move possible," the Frenchman said, via

"When I knew I had the possibility to come to Barca it really touched me, I cried a little even though I tried to hide my emotions.

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"It has been a dream of mine - since childhood I wanted to come here. I'm very happy and excited to be here."

Getting the opportunity to join Barcelona would, understandably, be the high point of most professional footballers careers. Umtiti's emotional reaction is, then, one that isn't too difficult to understand.

Who wouldn't shed a few tears of joy at the prospect of teaming up with the likes of Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez?


"I can't wait to play alongside these great players," the young defender continued. "I came here to progress and learn a lot with players who have more experience than me.

"I'm already learning Catalan, but I don't speak it very well at the moment. I have come to the best club in the world and I hope to win everything here."

Step up

While Umtiti, who was unveiled in the traditional Camp Nou pitch method yesterday, was overwhelmed at hearing he could be joining Barcelona, the 2015/16 La Liga champions will be hoping he is overawed when his time comes to take to the field in competitive action.

Luis Enrique does have the luxury of being able to look to Pique and Javier Mascherano in the centre of his defence should he choose to ease Umtiti into the starting lineup this season.

Nevertheless, having splashed out 25 million Euros to get the former Lyon man, and having seen him impress in the latter stages of this summer's Euro 2016, there will be a certain expectation that the Cameroon-born player will be ready to hit the ground running.

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La Liga
Andres Iniesta
Lionel Messi
UEFA Champions League
Euro 2016

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