Romeu ‘hurt’ leaving Barca for Chelsea and now wants to dent Xavi’s title hopes
Oriol Romeu has impressed in La Liga this season following more than a decade in the Premier League – and now he faces his former club Barcelona with the aim of denting their title dream.
The Spanish midfielder came through Barcelona's youth academy but played just twice before joining Chelsea – going on to spend seven years as a key player at Southampton.
Having traded the English coast to return to Catalonia with Girona, the 31-year-old has helped his new side into 11th in the table following promotion from the second-tier.
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Taking part in a media call with La Liga, Romeu told Daily Star Sport of his targets for the season: "Improving and getting better every single game.
"Since I came I've been able to help the team and learn more and more. I'm getting to know the managers and players more and I just want to get better and make sure that the last part of the season is even better than the start.
"I'm still in a stage of my career where I physically feel really good and I can only see better things coming up.
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"We are in a mid-table position but hopefully we can finish even higher by playing good football, being more offensive, aggressive and be a better team which I'm sure we can do."
When signing a four-year contract in west London back in 2011, he said: "Chelsea is a great option for me. Leaving Barca hurts, but you have to take your chances."
Romeu made 33 appearances for the club across two seasons and picked up winners medals in both the FA Cup and Champions League under Roberto Di Matteo.
Having already played alongside Lionel Messi and co. he also counted current Barcelona boss Xavi as a team-mate but will be looking to dent their title charge with his Girona colleagues.
Barcelona sit top of La Liga following 14 wins from their 19 fixtures, three points above rivals Real Madrid having gone three seasons without a title.
The club opted not to take up a buy-back option on Romeu during his time at Chelsea, during which time he spent spells on loan at Valencia and VfB Stuttgart, now becoming a key player with their local rivals.
Romeu has made 15 appearances so far this season and even found the net in a win over Real Valladolid. With former side Southampton battling relegation in the Premier League, he said of his time with the Saints: "I'm sad because it's over but I'm happier because it's happened."
Also known for his love of literature, Romeu wrote an autobiography entitled 'The season of my life, the inside voyage of a footballer' which was released in September.
Girona host Barcelona on Saturday afternoon looking to close the gap on 10th spot which is currently held by Mallorca, with a Robert Lewandowski-inspired Barcelona looking to go six points clear.
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