Lucas Digne is honoured to be playing for the best team in the world but the French full-back is not resting on his laurels, focused on playing a key role in Barcelona’s continued quest for supremacy in 2016-17.
More than three months have passed since Digne swapped Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain for LaLiga title-holders Barcelona, and the 23-year-old is right at home at Camp Nou.
Adapting to Barca’s style of play – which he describes as the “greatest” in the world – is not easy but the France international has made a seamless transition under coach Luis Enrique as he vies with Jordi Alba for the starting role at left-back.
Digne has proven to be a more reliable option defensively, helping the Spanish giants to clean sheets in the past three matches he has featured in, including the 4-0 Champions League rout of Manchester City on Wednesday.
And Digne – already a Supercopa de Espana winner this season – is loving the challenge that is associated with representing Barca, telling Omnisport: “I am feeling fantastic. Nothing could be better than being a part of this Barcelona team, which I consider the best team in the world.
“I know I am still young, but I always want to participate at the highest level. I believe that every day as a football player is all about pushing yourself and working hard to develop yourself to be able to always give your best on the pitch when it counts, and there is no better place to push yourself than playing with the best.
“So it was an easy answer, when Barca asked me to come and play for them.”
“There are many new things to adapt to, but this is a top professional club on all levels, and my coach and all of the coaching staff have helped me – and the other new players – to settle in and adapt quickly to the Barca style of playing,” he continued.
“You can say, that we do not only train in the Barca style – we study it. My club and my coach represent the greatest style of football in the world, so it is an honour to play in Barcelona, and I will give everything for this club.”
Digne’s arrival at the club signalled the start of a new generation during the last transfer window.
As well as luring Digne from the French capital, Barca signed Samuel Umtiti (22), Denis Suarez (22), Andre Gomes (23) and Paco Alcacer (23).
While Barca’s transfer activity highlighted their long-term strategy, Digne and Co. are determined to make an instant impact with LaLiga, the Champions League and Copa del Rey on offer this term.
“We are a lot of young players – and some people call us the next Barca generation, but I see us as a part of the present generation as well,” Digne said. “We are all here to help the team right here, right now – as much as we can. I am here for the future – but also to do everything I can for my club in this moment.”
Capped 14 times by France, Digne added: “The pressure is big everywhere in top football, and we are all used to that. I know, that I have only just turned 23, but I have already played a lot of games in France, Italy [with Roma on loan last season] and the Champions League – and I have already played for my country and been in the Les Bleus squad for both the World Cup and the Euros, so I can feel, that the experience of all this is helping me.
“I think, that all players want to play for the biggest clubs and in biggest games.”