Nico Gonzalez has enjoyed a rapid rise over the past two seasons. With Barcelona down to bare bones at various times last season, Ronald Koeman gave him a chance in the first team and Nico has flourished ever since.
That being said, he admitted to Marca that he is still adapting to the change of pace. Nico has already made 34 appearances this season, although he has seen his role slightly reduced since Pedri’s return to fitness. His impressive performances for the Blaugrana were enough to earn him recognition at Spanish Under-21 level, but also on the street.
“To be honest, I don’t think I got it all figured out. Little by little, I’m getting used to being famous, people recognizing you, being on TV…”
“But to be honest, I don’t like the fact that I’m famous, I’d rather have a lower profile, but that’s part of it and I’m very happy. Besides, when people come to you for a picture or to ask you something, it feels good and you know that your work is worth it.
“You feel accomplished because they like you. But I’m adapting little by little and I’ll get used to it.
Nico has been accustomed to stardom on some level since childhood as his father was also an outstanding footballer. Fran, who won sixteen caps with Spain and a league title with Deportivo La Coruña, was a local hero in Galicia. He was also asked what it was like growing up with a footballer as a father.
“It’s true that my father was demanding of me, but in terms of effort and sacrifice. He has been through everything that happens to me and knows that it is a beautiful thing to join the Barca first team or the Spanish U21 team, for this reason it is worth all the effort you have made for many years.
Nico also made a point of pointing out the difficulties of growing up differently from the rest of your age group.
“People aren’t aware that you have to make a lot of sacrifices to get here that not all teenagers do.”
With Gavi, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong currently ahead of him in the pecking order, Nico has fierce competition to secure a place in the starting squad under Xavi.