Football 3 years ago

Andreu out to entertain for Wanderers

  • Andreu out to entertain for Wanderers

Tony Popovic can take Andreu out of Spain but he'll never take Spain out of Andreu, the new Western Sydney Wanderers signing says.

The 32-year-old Barcelona youth product has vowed to stick to the style he knows and loves when he makes his likely A-League debut against Brisbane Roar at Pirtek Stadium on Thursday night, in front of impassioned home fans.

After more than a decade with the Catalan giants including time playing for the Barca B side before moving on to Malaga, Spanish football is well and truly in Andreu's blood.

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"My style is keep the ball, play for a while, and try to keep the balance between defence and attack," said the midfielder, whose fellow childhood students included the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.

"I enjoy keeping the ball, and trying to give good ball for the forwards.

"This is my style, I cannot change."

Popovic's off-season recruitment would indicate he is fine with that.

As part of his enormous roster transformation - the squad is almost unrecognisable - the coach also signed other Spaniards in midfielder Dimas, defender Alberto and assistant coach Andres Carrasco.

It's undoubtedly part of a wider trend that has led to Spanish players finding their way onto the books of five clubs this season, though Popovic has previously said the signings were more a by-product of the Eurozone's financial problems.

Nevertheless, it provides enticing opportunity for a new awakening following last season's lowly ninth place, in a campaign blighted by a gruelling workload that also took in the Asian Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and FFA Cup.

Andreu is looking forward to working with an eclectic mix with teammates, including returned Socceroo Dario Vidosic who is back in the A-League after an unhappy two seasons in Switzerland with FC Sion.

"(So) it's not the Spanish style - it's Popovic's style," Andreu said.

"He wanted to play like that from the first day.

"I think everybody's very happy with the training. It's sometimes very hard, but they are very happy with this style."

Andreu said the perception in Spain is that the A-League's level is improving as the league continues "growing up".

"I've played maybe just three games against teams from here but in the first minute the level is very high, very intense and physical.

"The players have very good quality and technique, and the A-League we can compare with the second division of Spain for sure."

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