Halilovic: Barcelona a positive experience for me

The former Dinamo Zagreb midfielder believes that his time in Spain has helped him develop ahead of his move to the Bundesliga and is excited to get started at his new club
Alen Halilovic says his experience at Barcelona was positive, despite making just one first-team appearance.

The 20-year-old joined the Nou Camp side in 2014 but only turned out for the senior squad in a 4-0 Copa del Rey win over Elche, before being sent on a season-long loan to Sporting Gijon.

The Croatia midfielder completed his transfer to Bundesliga side Hamburg on Thursday, and despite his limited playing time during his Barcelona stint, the midfielder believes he benefited from his time in Spain.

"Barcelona was a positive experience,"I also progressed during my time at Sporting Gijon. I played almost every league game for them last season."

Halilovic scored five goals in all competitions last term for Sporting, a similar return from his run in the Barca B team a year prior, and is excited by a return to regular top level football in the Bundesliga.

"I'm very happy to have arrived in Hamburg," he added. "They’ve shown me that they are big club. I'm sure that this is a big step in my career.""I'm only 20 years old but I’ve experience of playing in La Liga and now I’m in the Bundesliga. HSV is huge club – it has great fans and a sold-out stadium with great atmosphere."

The former Dinamo Zagreb midfielder, who can operate in a number of offensive roles, has also revealed that he will have an opportunity in his favoured position next term.

"I spoke with coach Bruno Labbadia and the directors," Halilovic said. "They’ve shown me how much they want me at the club. I will play as playmaker, Labbadia told me this, but I can play on the right wing."

The eight-time Croatia international will accommodate the No.23 shirt next season, which holds a lot of weight with the Bundesliga club.

"They keep number 23 for me," he said. "This is the biggest number in this club. Rafael van der Vaart wore this."

Halilovic had discussed the move with Milan Badelj and Ivica Olic – both of whom represented both Hamburg and Croatia – and will join up with Croatia-born Emir Spahic when he joins his new team-mates on Monday.

"I talked a lot with Milan Badelj, Ivica Olic and Emir Spahic. All they gave me support, say all the best about this club. They say to me that HSV is biggest club in Germany with Bayern and Borussia Dortmund.


Post a Comment