'People look at you differently' - Braithwaite reveals what it feels like to play for Barcelona

Goal.com

Martin Braithwaite says that people look at him differently now that he plays for Barcelona as the Danish forward admitted his life has changed off the field significantly since joining La Liga's leaders.

Braithwaite joined Barcelona from Leganes in February via an emergency transfer, with Barca in desperate need of a forward due to several injuries.

The forward made three appearances for Barca before La Liga was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, having scored eight goals in 24 matches for Leganes prior to making the move.

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It was a transfer that Braithwaite sees as the defining moment of his career so far, and one that he says has had a massive impact on his life off the field.

"I felt really proud and patted myself on the back," Braithwaite told Goal. "I said to myself that the hard work was paying off and it gave me even more motivation to push the limits on what I can do in my career."

He added: "A lot of things changed because now I am in the biggest club in the world so people look at you differently and recognise you more because my face is now more familiar. Beyond football, it changed a little bit but, in the end, football is still football."

Braithwaite says that his time at Barcelona hs been made easier by several of his team-mates, with the forward saying his ability to speak French has helped him connect with players like Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Clement Lenglet. In addition, he says he has become close to Frenkie de Jong, who joined the club last summer from Ajax.

However, while Braithwaite has found pleasure with life at Barca, his former club, Leganes, will be in a fight for survival when La Liga resumes. 

Leganes currently sit 19th in the table, three points behind 17th-place Celta Vigo.

"I've been looking at their games and results, hoping they win games because I don't like leaving a club in that kind of way," Braithwaite said, "but now I am focused on Barcelona. I want the best for my former teammates and former club".

"Everyone was really nice to me in Leganes," he added. "I met a lot of good people and they told me they were happy for me. They said I deserved it and, honestly, it was a special moment.

"It was difficult because I made a lot of good friends at Leganes and so many good relationships. It is always difficult when you have to leave a club. I have to thank them for everything they gave to me".

Barcelona are set to face Leganes on June 16 in the club's second match after returning from the coronavirus suspension, and Braithwaite says there will be no personal sentiment either way and no hard feelings regardless of what the result us.

"Of course," he said when asked if he would celebrate against his former club. "That would be a special scenario but I don't really think about this. When we play against them I will only be thinking about winning. I have a commitment for winning and will try to keep it against Leganes."

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