Oriol Romeu was borned in Ulldecona, 20 years ago. His father raised pigs and he (Oriol) played football until he was hired by Barcelona at the age of 12. Now he lives in London -in the same building as his teammate Juan Mata, with who he usually gets lost around the city- because he accepted the offer to play in Chelsea, for 5 millions, even though, he was just a step close to play for the first team. He started the season playing offen, (13 appearances) before he sustained an injury. After recovering, he hasn't played for Di Matteo. It's said that the veterans on the team gave a coup, but he denies it. Today, he'll watch from the stands the first game for the semifinals against his former team, a very emotive game for him, his father and her sister, who will be at Stamford Bridge.
Q: Have you thought about the fact that you could be celebrating the first lost of your former team?
A: Yes, I knew from the moment I left Barca that this could happen.
Q: Why did you leave Barca?
A: Because Chelsea made an offer. I won't have left if the offer was from a smaller team. I thought that it would be a great chance for me, that it would be a quality move. I've come to learn and even though I haven't played much lately, I dont regret my decission because I've found what I was looking for. Barca understood that and they helped me. Even though I've left, I would be always be grateful to Barcelona.
Q: Have you said that the difference between Barca and Chelsea it that Barca is love for the shirt and Chelsea is money....
A: No, I have never said that! Have you seen a match in our stadium? Do you think there is no love for the team? If it was for the money, I could have played for another team.
Q: Do you think about going back?
A: No, I came to grow. It is not my objective to go back to Barca but to stay in Chelsea and become an important player. It's only been a couple of month, I have to be patient.
Q: Has the coach explained why you are not playing?
A: No, he doesn't have to explain himself to me. In Chelsea, like any team, if you don't play is because you don't deserve it. I have learned that. If I'm not playing, all I have to do is do my best to convice the coach.
Q: You have shared locker room with Messi, Xavi and now you share it with Terry, Lampard, Drogba and Torres. Is there a stronger hierarchy in the english locker room?
A: No, I dont think so. But it's different; in Barca most of the players have been on the team for long, people your own age, even some you have met when you first started playing. Here is different, there are few player from the youth team, and many of us have come from other teams. But the older players lead the team, like everywhere else. It's obvious that the team leader is Terry, he's a lot more than just the skipper. But that doesn't mean that he and the older player dont have a good relationship with the rest. On the contrary. When I first arrived, they worried about me, if I needed anything. Now, John always cheers me up when I dont make the team. He's a role model to me. I would always say that he was my captain in Chelsea; it's an honor.
Q: Is it his team?
A: The team belongs to Abramovich, of course. But inside the pitch, he does. Fortunately, he hasn't got mad at me, but I've seen a few time he has, and uffff....
Q: Have you met Abramovich?
A: I've seen him once, the day he came to tell us he was sacking Villas-Boas and the Di Matteo was the new coach. He seemed down, it mustn't been pretty for him.
Q: Has the team changed since then?
A: We've become a more aggressive team, more direct, but it hasn't changed much. We still play the same strategy, but we've won some matches, and that has given us confidence. We're fine.
Q: How do you see Torres?
A: Good, he's very good. He had some rough times, without scoring but that's history. He has scored again and he's been playing very good; he has become a very important player. Personally, I've been lucky enough to be on the same team as Fernando and Mata. I'm very grateful for everything they've done for me.
Q: What does Mata bring to the team?
A: Talent, Imagination, creativity and surprise... He's a different player to everything you're used to seeing around here.
Q: It seems that today is not only a match between two teams, but also two different styles. What do you think?
A: Yes, very different styles, even though, we both look to score. In our way, we're a very aggressive team. The difference is the pace, something very british. Here you go, go, go. We don't keep the ball after you get it back, you look for the goal, non stop. It's a very tiring pace, and it would be difficult for Barca. We've our options and we'll try to use them. I'm sure the match will be defined by details.
Q: Do you look up to Busquets?
A: Busquets is one of the best midfielders in the world, if not the best. And anyone, who plays in that position look up to him. He's very quick thinking, doing and has an extraordinary positional game.
Q: Where were you the day Iniesta scored in Stamford Bridge?
A: I was watching it on the telly, with other team mates, but i'm not sure where. I think it wasn't on La Masia.