Be the captain of the subsidiary of the Barcelona is a sufficient cover letter to make a career in many teams of Spain but Sergi Palencia opted for a less conservative path when he decided to turn his gaze towards French football.
The defender first tried on loan in the ranks of the Girondins of Bordeaux and later agreed to wear the shirt of the Saint-Étienne. Two experiences that have hardened him and from which Leganés is now benefiting, where he plays on loan.
“The basis is the same as it was when I left but the experience is different. And every time you live a year, abroad or wherever, you acquire it. It helps you in later years. I consider that apart from football there are aspects in the physical where I have been able to improve, even in the offensive, “he explains to EFE.
“Now I can have more travel, more repetition of efforts. I took that in France, because you have to get used to the more physical rhythm there. And I have matured a lot. Also when it comes to empathizing with colleagues. Before, perhaps it pissed me off too much, I was too irascible. Now I keep my head cooler, “he adds.
He feels it and it shows on the field, where he proves to be a footballer capable of doing what the game asks for at all times. Perhaps that is why he started with José Luis Martí and maintains that condition under the command of Asier Garitano.
Many may consider it a step forward but the truth is that Palencia was already pointing out ways of leading when he was one of the benchmarks of the Barça youth squad during a time when La Masía stopped looking so much. Despite this, there is no resentment.
“I couldn’t say a player from our fifth who would have stood out a lot to settle in the first team. Adama was the one who was closest. There are certain players, but none who have stood out in such a great way as to have a chance in the first team, “he says.
“Perhaps there was not enough level, that to be in the first team is a world crack. Now between Ansu, Ilaix, Araujo … yes you can see that there is that level a little higher or that it adapts more to what you need the team, “he adds.
The bitter aftertaste of the lost opportunity does not seem to remain like this, but positive moments, such as coinciding with Neymar. The one from Badalona believes that it will be difficult to see the Brazilian again with Barcelona’s elastic and does not hesitate to put him on the ladder ahead of Mbappé.
“I see Neymar quite superior to him. Already in incidence, when they are both healthy, I see that Neymar’s team is more than Mbappé’s. But at the level of pure talent for my Neymar, who has not had much respect for the injuries and we have missed him in important games, he is the second best in the world and everyone is well. Without a doubt, “he says.
However, this does not mean that he misses the French star: “When I faced him it was not a total face-to-face because he played more as a center forward that game, but playing against these players is tremendous. It is very good and you have to propose a game in which he does not feel comfortable, in his case you have to prevent him from running. “
“If you are able to retreat very quickly when you lose the ball and to put the lines together a lot, it will not be so decisive there. But if you allow a team like PSG to pass through, it will kill you. In one of those situations they put us a goal “, ends.