Chelsea new boy Marc Cucurella has looked back upon his decision to leave Barcelona , dubbing it as the best move of his career. Cucurella joined Barca’s U16 academy from Espanyol in 2012. Progressing through the ranks, he ultimately made his first-team debut in July 2017, against Real Murcia in a Copa del Rey round-of-32 fixture.
It turned out to be his only first-team appearance for Barca, with him spending the next three seasons out on loan to Eibar and Getafe, respectively. The Spaniard left Barcelona permanently in 2020, joining Getafe for an €11 million fee. Looking back, the Chelsea left-back has called it the best decision of his career. Speaking to Football.London , he said:
“Of course, it’s difficult because in my case, I had always stayed in Barcelona, my family is always here. It’s difficult to change to another city, another club, and the style is different.”
“I understood I needed to go one step down to play a lot of minutes and play well. I think it was a long time – maybe four or five years – I stayed at maybe not the biggest clubs. But in my mind, I always focused on playing, and maybe one day I would have the opportunity [to sign with a big club].”
“I think maybe one of the best decisions in my life was leaving Barcelona to join maybe smaller teams. They give me opportunities. Maybe if I didn’t leave, I would have stayed on the bench for a long time and I never come here [to Chelsea].”
Having spent a season at Getafe, Cucurella signed for Premier League outfit Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer of 2021 for an €18 million fee. Joining Chelsea from the Seagulls in a €65.3 million (including add-ons) deal earlier in August, Cucurella has become the most expensive left-back of all time.