French left-back Lucas Digne has likened Barcelona to a religion, such is the way of life at the Spanish champions.
Digne went from one titleholder to another in the off-season as he swapped Paris Saint-Germain for Barcelona.
The differences between the two clubs are stark, something Digne knows too well, playing alongside Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar at the five-time European champions.
Speaking exclusively to Omnisport, Digne – who signed a five-year contract and is planning a long-term stay – insists it goes beyond football at Camp Nou.
“For me Barca is the biggest club in the world, and I think it’s the same for everybody,” Digne said.
“It’s a way of playing, it’s a bit like a religion, it’s something very powerful. I told my father it would be a dream to play here and that’s it.
“What impressed me the most is that it’s really a family. All the recruits have been warmly welcomed by the players, the staff and the people of the city. It has been amazing.
“The pressure is different, this is the biggest club in the world, so the expectations are different. You have to win many trophies and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Digne has made a seamless transition, although the 23-year-old says it not easy for a defender to adapt to the club’s ethos.
“People don’t necessarily realise that we need first and foremost to defend very well because we’re often playing one on one, or two on one,” he added.
“These things are less noticed, because we often have the ball, so we’re thinking more about attacking, but it’s very important to defend well.”
Making things easier for the France international is the fact he is playing alongside the famed ‘MSN’ – Barca’s attacking trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar.
“It’s incredible, it’s incredible… they are the best strikers in the world and it’s a pleasure to be able to be with them as men and as players,” he said.
“It’s the same thing during trainings and games. They can do incredible things. I think everybody can see short clips of our trainings. They don’t need to prove their quality, it’s really incredible.”
As for playing in the same team as five-time Ballon d’Or winner and Barca’s all-time leading goalscorer Messi, Digne added: “It’s magic. It’s natural for [Messi]. I can’t explain it. He has something more than anybody else. He’s on another planet.”
Do not ask Digne for tips on how to defend against the Argentinian maestro.
“I try to put him on his right foot but it’s always difficult, or we have to be many players on him,” Digne continued.