Jose Enrique has revealed that only Barcelona could tempt him to leave the challenge of helping Newcastle United win promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
The former Villarreal defender believes that the Coca Cola Championship is a god test for him as it is similar to the top flight, but with worse players.
Amid rumours that he was ready to return to Spain, Enrique has reaffirmed his commitment to the Toon although that could change should Barcelona show an interest.
“Everything here is great – except we now play in the Championship!” Enrique told the Sunday Sun.
“I was happy at Villarreal but I preferred to sign for Newcastle. They offered me a better contract and there were many famous names here – Michael Owen, Oba Martins and others.
“I thought I would be playing Champions League football here – now I play in the Championship. It’s strange! But I like to think I can still play in the Champions League one day with Newcastle.”
“Yes, I’m like any other player: if Barcelona came for me, of course I would want to go.
“In reality though, I want to play for Newcastle, and I know that if I want to play in the Champions League, we’ll have to get back to the Premier League.
“Of course, we have to get out of the Championship first, and the teams in this division play a different type of football.
“The Premier League is a harder challenge, but this is a different challenge. There are more quick balls played straight up to the strikers.
“It’s similar to the Premier League in some ways, but with worse players.
“We have a similar team here to last year, and our players are better than other players in the Championship, so I think we can get promoted.”
Lucas Brown, Goal.com