Junior Firpo Has No Barcelona, Real Madrid Preference Amid Transfer Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 19: Junior Firpo of Real Betis during the La Liga Santander  match between Real Madrid v Real Betis Sevilla at the Santiago Bernabeu on May 19, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Real Betis full-back Junior Firpo has said he has no preference between Real Madrid and Barcelona amid continued speculation regarding his future.

Firpo made strides for Betis in the 2018-19 season, providing thrust and energy on the left flank. Unsurprisingly, rumours have started to arise regarding a possible transfer.

Speaking to EFE (h/t AS), the Spain youth international said he doesn't have a favourite of the two La Liga giants, despite the fact that his father is a fan of Real Madrid.

"No," he said when asked if he preferred one over the other. "I said that I was more Madrid because my father is a Madrid fan and at home I see that more, but that's not to say I prefer Madrid just because my father is a fan. Honestly, Real Betis is the club that I like, where I have been since I was young."

The 22-year-old added that he's focused on his current club despite the speculation. "I have a contract with Betis," he said. "I have a duty at Betis because this club has given me everything, and I will always be thankful for that. But I am only thinking about the Euros with Spain, and after that we will see."

As Marca relayed, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have been tipped as possible suitors, while Premier League side Manchester United are also said to be in the frame.

Eleven Sports shared a clip of some of the left-back's best moments this term:

Eleven Sports @ElevenSports_UK

| 🤔 | Barcelona or Real Madrid Where would Betis' Junior Firpo develop more ❓ "I said that I was more Madrid because my father is a Madrid fan & at home I see that more but that's not to say I prefer Madrid just because my father is a fan." https://t.co/557wQbFyix

Given Betis frequently operate with a three-man defence, Firpo is given license to push forward on the left flank. That freedom allows him to showcase his best assets.

He is always looking to be positive on the ball, as he commits opposition defenders and gets crosses into the box. Physically, he's a tough man to get the better of, as the Betis star is strong in the tackle, good in the air and has relentless energy.

Per OptaJose, he also constantly puts himself into dangerous areas:

OptaJose @OptaJose

16,9 - Only Junior Firpo has averaged more touches in the opposition box (one for each 16,8 total touches) than Marc Cucurella (one for each 16,9) among the #LaLiga right/left backs this season. Purchase https://t.co/SnUc6XkCah

If he were to move to either Madrid or Barcelona, he'd likely have to adapt his game, as playing as an orthodox left-back instead of a wing-back would require Firpo to be more defensively astute.

At Madrid, iconic left-back Marcelo endured a challenging season, as he was frequently overlooked in favour of Sergio Reguilon. Meanwhile, while Barcelona have one of the standout left-backs in the game in Jordi Alba, they lack a natural competitor for him in the position.