6 months ago
BARTRA GEARS UP FOR LALIGA'S GRAN DERBI
Marc Bartra of Real Betis  ~ Getty images

DERBY matches are invariably a tasty affair.

And the Gran Derbi certainly won't be any different as Real Betis face off with city rivals, Sevilla, in one of most the eargely-awaited LaLiga matches at Benito Villamarin Stadium on Saturday.

The derby countdown has begun and no one is looking forward to the clash more than Marc Bartra.

Bartra has been through a tough time in Germany's Bundesliga this season.

The 27-year-old is enjoying his football again with  Real Betis and will be playing in his first Grand Derbi.

The match is one of LaLiga's most passionate derbies.

It divides the city of Seville right down the middle with both sets of fans doing their utmost to get behind their teams.

The great atmosphere goes beyond the pitch, can be felt across the city and doesn't end with the final whistle.

Bartra has tasted Catalunya's derbi barceloni before and has sat on the bench for the el clasico.

So, he knows all too well about the pressure of a big match... the intimidating atmosphere and intense rivalry.

"Derbies are not the matches played only with the head, but also with the heart," Bartra told SunSport.

"It's a game that, as a player, you know that every move makes people happy. This is really special. We have to try to do our best for the fans. I can say I'm feeling I'm in my best for, both mentally and physically and look forward to the match.

"Sevilla are a tough team. We expect a tough and exciting match." 

Bartra left Barcelona for Dortmund two seasons ago but returned to LaLiga in January this year after his opportunities became limited.

With the World Cup in mind, he decided to join Betis to re-establish his competitive spirit and possibly  rediscover his form to earn a ticket to Russia next month.

He has certainly given coach Julen Lopetegui food for thought, having played in all 14 matches for Betis since he arrived. 

"I came to Betis to get more minutes on the pitch," Bartra said.

"Betis showed a lot of confidence in me I was motivated by the plans they had for me.


"I learned a lot in Germany. But I want to have a real chance to go to the World Cup."
Betis are fifth while Seville are in seventh spot in the league.
A win or draw will guarantee Betis a place in the Europa League group stages next season.
But it will also ensure they finish ahead of Sevilla for the first time since the 2012/13 campaign.


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