Spanish winger Gerard Deulofeu has been impressive for Premier League club Watford all throughout this season, having made 21 appearances for the club as a center-forward, also scoring 10 goals and making 5 assists so far.
He turned up particularly well this weekend, in the Premier League fixture against Cardiff City, when he scored a hattrick of goals and also recorded an assist, as Neil Warnock’s Blue Birds failed to produce any solution to Watford’s rampancy on the pitch.
Watford eventually won 5-1, and Deulofeu had enough reasons to believe that his has been the best individual performance over the weekend across all of Europe – until a certain Lionel Messi showed up.
Messi netted thrice – one of which was scored through an out-of-the-world volley – as he played the role of chief exterminator for Barcelona in a must-win league game against Sevilla. The Blaugranas eventually returned home with a 4-2 result in their favour.
24-year-old Deulofeu was since, quick to admit that he had no doubt about his having been the best individual display from the past week, until he saw what Messi did.
Speaking to El Transistor, a Spanish Radio show, Deulofeu is quoted to have said, “I thought I was the king of the weekend until I saw Messi in the Sanchez Pizjuan.”
The former Barcelona boy also spoke on how it was, to have played with the man himself: “He’s an incredible player, I really enjoy watching him. I remember when I was at Barcelona, I once played a ball to him like it was a watermelon.”
“I started over immediately to apologise, but he’d brought it down with an incredible touch.”
In a much later phase of his career, Gerard Deulofeu will probably be remembered as one of the best players from Barcelona to have made a name playing for other clubs, rather than for the Catalans themselves.
In fact, the player has made just 12 league appearances for Barcelona across the five seasons he teamed up alongside Messi and co. Most of his career so far had been spent on loan transfers, until Watford made his loan move from Barcelona last season, permanent in the beginning of the ongoing 2018-’19 season.
About having had to leave the best club in the world to make a name for himself elsewhere, Deulofeu said thus: “I was at home at Barcelona, in the best team in the world, but you can’t put a price on feeling important, feeling like you’re someone others want to look up to.”
He added that he felt important in Watford right now. And needless to say, he is churning out performances worthy enough of good regards.