Hector Bellerin grateful for surprise opportunity to return home to Barcelona

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After eleven years away from his home, Hector Bellerin has returned to Barcelona and come full circle.

The Catalan right-back left the famed La Masia academy at the age of 16 to join Arsenal. Today he was presented as a Barcelona player and Bellerin told Sport that he was grateful to be back.

“I wore this shirt for many years in the academy at Barca and now is the year in which I least expected to be able to return home. I want to give thanks to the President and all of the clubs through which I have passed and that have made this possible.”

“I always had it inside me to be able to play in the first team, in the past there were opportunities but they never materialised. But I always had that intuition that I would have the chance to return home.”

It was expected that Bellerin might return to Real Betis this summer, where he spent last season on loan. Although Barcelona is his home, Bellerin formed a close bond with Los Verdiblancos, but their struggles with the La Liga salary limit impeded them from doing a deal.

It has allowed somewhat of a fairy tale return for Bellerin to Barcelona though, who signs on a one-year deal.

President Joan Laporta revealed that his signing was specifically requested by manager Xavi Hernandez.

“Xavi asked me for his signing and it came off thanks to the great work of Mateu [Alemany] and his family. He is a committed person and it is certain that he will help us.”

Bellerin will compete with Sergi Roberto and central defenders Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde for his spot this season. He will have the advantage of being the only one of the four that began his career as a right-back.

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