Atletico Madrid midfielder Pablo Barrios has declared that he could not see himself in Saudi Arabia, like his former teammate Yannick Carrasco.
The Belgian winger raised eyebrows last week when he dismissed Saudi Arabia’s dreadful human rights record, but asked about the idea, Barrios said he was content in Madrid.
“I like Madrid so much and being with my family and friends, and being at Atleti that I don’t see myself being happy anywhere else.”
Barrios has become the de facto pivote at Atletico Madrid almost by accident. Diego Simeone had declared he wanted a midfield signing in that position, but with no signing arriving, and Koke Resurreccion injured for the past month, Barrios had slotted in.
“Last season he told me that he saw me as a pivote and in the preseason he started putting me in that position. I had already played there when I was younger and I feel comfortable [there].”
Diario AS asked whether he was more comfortable in a deeper role or further forward.
“We’ll see, what happens to me is that when I play as a pivote I remember what I do when I am a central midfielder [interior] and when I play as a central midfielder, I remember what I do as a pivote. I have played so much in both positions that I feel comfortable in both, I don’t care which one as long as I help the team.”
Barrios originally started his career at Real Madrid.
“They told me that they weren’t counting on me and that same day I already had the offer from Atleti by the evening. They trusted in me blindly, and I didn’t hesitate for a moment.”
— Atletico Universe (@atletiuniverse) September 11, 2023
This season he could be in for a significant role under Diego Simeone this season. The 20-year-old burst onto the scene last January, impressing in some league games, but struggled for minutes down the stretch after the return of injured players. However this season he could be trusted more often with Simeone perhaps looking to rotate more often and avoid the same injury issues as last season.