On at 5:15 p.m.
Franck Kessie had a fleeting time at FC Barcelona. A single season. But he left his mark among the Blaugrana fans. As much as the Culers and the Blaugrana club have left in him. The Ivorian waited until his contract with Milan ended to fulfill his dream of playing at the Camp Nou. In the difficult economic situation that the Blaugrana club is going through, the only formula was to arrive with the letter of freedom under his arm and Kessie understood it that way.
The now Saudi Al Ahli midfielder never earned a starting spot in Xavi Hernández’s schemes, but his appearances did not go unnoticed in a hobby that valued his dedication. A footballer-stand connection that had its climax with that goal in stoppage time in the classic against Real Madrid (2-1) that dealt the final blow to the League. Barça had gone three seasons without winning the precious trophy and Kessie was key to recovering the throne.
Despite never becoming a leading actor, Kessie played 43 games as a Blaugrana for a total of 1,797 minutes in which he scored three goals and provided three assists.. The Ivorian considered that his performance deserved continuity, especially taking into account that his contract was in force until 2026, but the need to make money and reduce the wage bill made Barça put him on the market.
The footballer finally agreed to leave for Al Ahli and Barça earned 12.5 million. Reluctantly and with the feeling that the Blaugrana club had only hired him to make money, as a business operation. The passage of time has made Kessie put aside that bad feeling and keep the good, the love of the fans and having fulfilled one of the challenges he had in his career, playing at the Camp Nou. This is what he says in an interview with ‘e-noticies’, the first he has given since he left Barça.
“I miss the heat of the Camp Nou and the support of the fans”says Kessie, proud of his time with the Blaugrana team: “Playing in a stadium like the Camp Nou, which is a stadium with 100,000 seats… There are not many like that in Europe.”
The Ivorian midfielder only has words of praise for the Blaugrana entity and its fans: “I have very good memories of my time at Barça. I won two titles in my first year, the Super Cup and the League. And I also have very good memories of the city, the coaching staff and the great players I met with. “I follow all their games and try to give them my support from a distance.”
In a very difficult moment for the Blaugrana team, which is being showered with criticism for the game played in the last few games and, especially, for the defeat against Shakhtar in the Champions League, Kessie sent a message of confidence to all the culers : “I think Barça has a good team with great players. There are young footballers who are gaining strength, like Lamine Yamal. Barça today has a great team and great players. “I am confident that this season they will win a title again.”