Emerson Says He Expects to Join Barcelona, Dreams of Playing with Lionel Messi

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 02: Eden Hazard of Real Madrid battle for the ball with Emerson of Real Betis Balompie during the Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Betis Balompie at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 02, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Betis defender Emerson has said he expects to eventually join Barcelona and has confirmed the Spanish champions can sign him due to a clause in his contract. 

The promising right-back recently made his debut for Brazil after impressing for Betis in La Liga.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Marca), Emerson said he believes he will soon end up at the Nou Camp to play alongside Lionel Messi, with Barca holding an option that could trigger his departure from Seville:

"In my head I'm clear that I will go to Barcelona and that I will play to win the Champions League.

"Barcelona often tell my agent that I'm doing well, so it might be soon.

"Yes, there is a clause. If I go to Barcelona, they must pay a fee. I don't know how much it is, but it's a dream to play with Lionel Messi, the best in the world."

SEVILLE, SPAIN - OCTOBER 30: Emerson of Real Betis in action during the Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and RC Celta de Vigo at Estadio Benito Villamarin on October 30, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The player arrived in Spain from Brazilian team Atletico Mineiro 11 months ago during the January transfer window, with Barca reported to have paid a share of his €12 million transfer fee. The Blaugrana reportedly can sign Emerson for €6 million, with Betis retaining a cut of any future sale.

Emerson is a modern wing-back who can feature in both defence and midfield, making him perfect for Barca's preferred tactics.

The player added Barca director of football and former defender Eric Abidal had passed on positional advice to him.

"He told me that versatility can be good," Emerson said. "He said that Barcelona players put this into practice already with Sergi Roberto and other players of that style."

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 19: Emerson de Souza of Brazil walks in the field during the match between Brazil and Korea Republic on November 19, 2019 at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Eurasia Sport
Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

The burgeoning star has started 12 games for El Glorioso this term and has scored twice while also providing three assists.

Betis are experiencing a turbulent campaign in 13th place, but Emerson has been one of the team's most consistent performers.

The Andalusian club recently earned back-to-back La Liga victories over Valencia and Mallorca but had collected just one win in their last seven before the upturn in results.

Barca are locked with Real Madrid on 31 points at the top of La Liga, and the champions will have the opportunity to strengthen their squad during the forthcoming transfer window in the new year.