Stoke new-boy Muniesa admits sadness over Barca exit

The 21-year-old could not hide the emotion of departing his boyhood club, but insists he has no regrets and is glad he now has certainty over his immediate future

New Stoke signing Marc Muniesa admits he found it difficult to leave boyhood club Barcelona in order to move to the Premier League.

The 21-year-old signed a four-year deal with Mark Hughes' side earlier this week, after departing the Camp Nou on a free transfer following the expiry of his contract with the Catalan club.

And while he is excited over the prospect of continuing his development in the English top-flight, he has acknowledged some regret at having to leave Barca.

"It is sad to leave Barca, my home for all my life, but you must understand that one stage ends and another starts and you must try to grow," he told Mundo Deportivo.

The Spain Under-21 international also said he holds no grudges over Barca only announcing their intention to release him at the end of the season.

"They took a while, yes, but I am grateful that they gave me the chance to play for Barca B this season and they have been respectful to the end," he added.

"I am thankful for everything, they have allowed me to play many years for Barcelona, that is what I wanted as a child. I am very happy, I wanted to know where I was going to play and now my family and I we are finally calm.

"We now know where we will live for the next four years."

Muniesa made four first-team appearances for Barcelona in total after making his debut in 2009 against Osasuna, and he recently helped Spain's youngsters to victory in the Under-21 European Championships in Israel.