Bojan Krkic marked his one-hundredth appearance for Barcelona with a goal as the Catalans put a forgettable week well and truly to bed with a 2-1 defeat of Getafe at the Camp Nou.
The striker is now the youngest player in the club’s history to reach the landmark of 100 not out, beating the previous record set by Lionel Messi. Speaking after the match, the 20-year-old could hardly contain his joy: “I’m
“I need games like Getafe to continue believing in myself and feeling important to the team”, he added. Indeed his importance to the team on Saturday was duly noted. His ability to slot in as a replacement for the injured Pedro so seamlessly must have given coach Pep Guardiola much needed peace of mind, allowing the man in charge to concentrate on patching up a weakened back four. In addition to the individual attacking threat he carries, his telepathic and ingrained understanding of Barcelona’s style of play betrays his youth.
Since his debut in September 2007 in an away fixture at Osasuna, the youngster has not made as many starts as perhaps he would have liked: just six starts this campaign, echoing the pattern of previous years where most of his appearance in the famous Blaugrana colours have come as a substitute, something which Bojan believes makes his achievement all the more special: “I get goose bumps when I realise that I’ve reached 100 league games, even more so in a team like Barca. I’m very proud of the work done up to today”, he said.
The young forward has racked up 25 goals in four seasons with the club but has a mere five goals to his name this season. Yet, Bojan believes he can now start living up to the standards of the iconic number 9 he sports on his back: “I’m very pleased, especially in recent games, where I’ve been lucky enough to score”, he said. “It’s very important get regular minutes on the pitch, and even more so for a striker. Now I have confidence in myself and feel really good physically”.
Despite his obvious self-confidence he was also quick to pay tribute to the contribution made by Barca’s supporters: “I have always felt really loved by them and that gives me the strength to keep on going”, he remarked.
The youngster concluded by gaving a pitch-side account of the supporters’ public show of support for Eric Abidal as they broke out into a standing ovation in the 22nd minute of the game: “At the time…I could appreciate the applause, because we had the ball controlled in defence and I could watch how the fans paid homage to Abidal. It was really emotional.”
An emotional tribute to cap another job done: the perfect way to end a difficult week.