Former Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund defender Marc Bartra has spoken to the media about his hopes for this season’s Europa League campaign. The Spanish international signed for Real Betis in January 2018 and feels that his team have got progressively stronger, despite spending only £3m in the summer transfer window. His eyes are firmly on the Europa League prize this season, especially as the final is set to be hosted in local rivals Sevilla FC’s Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.
“I think our team has not been weakened by the transfer window and it’s even better now,” Bartra commented.
According to an article by the Daily Record, the 30-year-old continued: “It is a very nice group for us in the Europa League, but at the same time very demanding. We are playing against teams such as Celtic for example, who are used to playing in the Champions League and are one of the great teams in their league. But we think Betis will have a big say in this group and the Europa League is a big aim of ours this season.”
In terms of the final being held in Seville, Bartra revealed that the chosen venue has added extra motivation for himself and his colleagues to succeed:
“Of course it adds something extra because of the venue of the final this season and that has to be our aim,” he said.
“Of course, it’s great to play in a final anywhere, but it would be particularly special for us because it’s in Seville.
“I must admit I have thought about what it would be like in a final in our own city and in front of our people, but first let’s concentrate on getting out of the group.
“I signed for Betis because I wanted to play as many games as possible and playing every three days in La Liga and Europe is fun. I’ve been used to it my whole career.”
Celtic face Real Betis in the opening game of the group next Thursday. Kick off in the Estadio Benito Villamarín is at 17:45.