The Danish forward is eager to hit the ground running at Camp Nou and show why the club were right to bring him in from Leganes
Martin Braithwaite has expressed his excitement after joining Barcelona, admitting he can’t wait to link up with six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, while also outlining what qualities he will bring to the team.
The striker completed a move to Camp Nou on Thursday after Barca activated his €18 million (£15m/$19m) release clause at Leganes.
The Catalans had been granted special dispensation to sign a forward due to long-term injuries to Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele, who may not return to action this season.
Braithwaite scored six times in 24 appearances for Leganes this season to help their fight against relegation but has only twice reached double figures for goals in a single league campaign, back when he was with Toulouse in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
However, the 28-year-old sees himself as a student of the game and one whose attributes will make him useful to head coach Quique Setien.
“I’m really excited. It’s a childhood dream come true,” he told Barca TV. “Everyone who plays football dreams of playing at Barcelona. Here I am, and I’m really excited to win titles.
“It’s a club with a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations, and I’m here to go and try to win everything possible.
242 – Martin Braithwaite has been involved in a goal every 242 minutes with Leganés in Liga 2019/20 (6 goals & 2 assists in 1934 minutes), 28th ratio among the 41 forwards who played at least 1000 minutes in the Spanish top-flight this season. Joker ? pic.twitter.com/Rco3lfhv0D
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 20, 2020
“I’m a technical player, always physical in that I’m really fast, really strong. I’d say my best attribute is my intelligence. I move really intelligently. I study the game. I call myself a football student. I always try to improve my football every day.
“I think, the way we play here, my movement will help the team a lot. And, of course, I’m a goalscorer so I’m here to score goals.”
Braithwaite is looking forward to the chance to call Lionel Messi a team-mate, hailing the Barca captain as arguably the greatest player in history.
“He’s maybe the best player ever, so of course it’s a big moment for me to be able to play with this guy and to say that I’ve played with him, so I’m really excited,” said the Denmark international.
Braithwaite could make his debut when Eibar visit Camp Nou on Saturday.