Credit: Photo by Icon sport
French international Samuel Umtiti explains why he came to Lecce to prolong his enthusiasm for soccer after four years of imprisonment at Barcelona.
The 29-year-old defender was bought from Olympique Lyonnais in 2016 for €25 million with the aim of becoming a rock in their back line, but things went sour rather quickly. He was eventually loaned out for a season to newly-promoted Serie A side Lecce, who are now fighting to keep their place in Italy’s elite. “It was like four years of imprisonment in Barcelona, not only in sporting terms, but also in my everyday life. I was in a really bad way, so I preferred to stay away from everyone. At first, I felt fine and performed at a high level, but then I started to feel a certain distrust towards myself and realized that nobody believed in me anymore. I know that guaranteeing safety from relegation isn’t the same thing as winning a title, but I’m grateful to Lecce because I’ve got my smile back here,” Umtiti told Canal+ in France.