Jordi Masip relishing three-way challenge for Barça goalkeeping spot
Young stopper fighting with Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo for a role
Jordi Masip was pleased with Luis Enrique after the Barcelona coach said all three of his goalkeepers would start the season on equal footing.
Masip knew the coach when Enrique was in charge of Barca B and said: "He has always relied on youth and tells us we have to have a lot of ambition and show we can be in the first team. I'm sure I will do that and if he has to put in a kid of 18-19 years, he will. For us it's extra motivation to do the difficult things that get you into the first team."
Masip believes Enrique "is the same as he was with Barca B, the same intensity and enthusiasm. The idea is the same but it has evolved because he has been with other teams. He has much character and helps everyone a lot and speaks to everyone."
In his own case, Masip says he is "very excited to play and help the team win more titles, play a good game which appeals to the fans." He says "the pressure is bigger here but it's relative, because when you play you have to concentrate.
Jordi has spoken to Ter Stegen whom he has been working with for the first time.
"He's a good guy who wants to learn a lot, to learn Catalan and Spanish. He is a very good goalkeeper, good with his feet and in the air, and he has much potential too."
Victor Valdes wanted Masip to take over from him in goal and the 25-year-old is grateful for it. "What Victor told me flattered me a lot, I have a great respect for him. He's a mirror which I try to look in. One day I would like to follow in his footsteps. I know it's very difficult because he is the best goalkeeper in Barcelona's history and an idol for me.
Masip said it was not a bad thing that three goalkeepers had to fight for one place. "I've always lived with competition and three young goalkeepers is good because you push yourself and your team-mates. I am sure that we will come good and it will be good for the team."
He notes that: "I learned if you do not fight and do not give 100 percent in all workouts you will not get there, because your team-mates are fighting for a place."
Luis Enrique said that if he had to pick a goalkeeper today it would be Masip. Although grateful, Masip said: "It's because he knows me and does not know Marc Andre Ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo's abilities yet. But I am very flattered and motivated to do the difficult things (to play)."
For Masip, "to play in goal for the club is complicated, but we are all prepared and if you do not believe in yourself it's difficult for you to continue."
When you play at Barca, he said, "you have to pay attention to the balls behind the defence, play a good game with your feet and concentrate from first minute to last."