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Braithwaite: "I've worked for this for a long time"

Braithwaite: "I've worked for this for a long time"

Barcelona: Martin Braithwaite presentation as it happened

And that appears to be it. Probably the least a new player has ever said during a presentation as the focus of the questions was Bartomeu and Abidal, but as they say, Braithwaite will do his talking on the pitch. Thanks for joining! 

Is that the strike force covered for next season, Bartomeu is asked. He replies that they'll concentrate on this season first and then they'll look at next season. 

Could Braithwaite leave at the end of the season, Bartomeu is asked. The president replies that he's signed for four and half years. 

A question for Braithwaite! Has he been studying Barcelona? He says that he has so that he knows where to position himself and that he'll work to make sure he fits in with the rest of the attack. 

Another one for Bartomeu. Is Messi saying he's staying a relief for the president? He replies that Martin Braithwaite is sitting next to him and he's a great player. 

How does Abidal explain how weakened Barça's squad are, with at one point 15 players on the books? Abidal says a small squad isn't an issue, but injured players are and if Dembélé wasn't injured they wouldn't have had to make a move. He adds that Aleñá left of his own accord and there's nothing they could do about it. 

Now Bartomeu is being asked about the social media controversy and again he says the situation will be analysed and then explained. 

Will Bartomeu consider any sackings after recent weeks? He reiterates that this conference should be about Braithwaite, which is a fair point really. 

One for Abidal, what's the situation with Messi after their public falling out? Abidal says he learned a lot in a few days and that internal matters need to be handled internally. 

Another one for Bartomeu, and it concerns whether or not Barça are still hamstrung in the Champions League as Braithwaite is ineligible. He basically says no. 

Another question for Bartomeu, and he says it's basically the same as the last. We have players injured, he says, and therefore he's happy that Braithwaite agreed to join the club. 

He skilfully ignores the jibe and says that what Martin offers will help the club during the rest of the season. 

Question for Bartomeu... is this signing rounding off one of the worst months for the club? Saucy. 

Barça TV first up to ask a question. Was Braithwaite surprised to get the call? He says yes and no, that he's always believed he can play at this level and that it was meant to be. 

Eric Abidal now has his turn and he also lauds Braithwaite's wealth of experience. 

Question time... 

Braithwaite has signed a four and a half year deal at Camp Nou with a 300-million-euro buy-out clause. 

Braithwaite says he is very grateful to be at the "best club in the world" and he's looking forward to getting started. 

And he adds, unsurprisingly, that he wants the conference to focus on Braithwaite's arrival. Other matters are being handled "internally" and announcements made as and when. 

The Barça president also makes a point of saying they did everything by the book and says he doesn't think it is fair that Lega were not able to buy a replacement and he hopes that regulation is changed in the future. 

Bartomeu says Braithwaite was the chosen man due to his experience of various leagues and at international level. 

Here's Bartomeu, getting things underway. He welcomes Braithwaite by saying he's an emergency measure... interesting. But he seems sincere when he says welcome to the club and he wishes him all the best. 

A quick pose with the shirt and the questions are about to begin. 

And here comes the new Barça player now, alongside Bartomeu and Abidal. 

Some illustrious names have worn the 19 at Barça down the years: 

- 1996-98: Pizzi.
-1998-99: Kluivert.
-1999-2003: Dani García.
-2004-05: Fernando Navarro.
-2006-08: Messi.
-2009-12: Maxwell.
-2012-13: Martín Montoya.
-2013-14: Afellay.
-2015-16: Sandro Ramírez.
-2016-18: Lucas Digne.
-2018-19: Munir El Haddadi.
-2018-19: Boateng.
-2019-20: Aleñá.

Here's Braithwaite strutting his stuff on the Camp Nou turf. 

And now we await the press conference. 

And the striker does the rounds of the photographers and then gets his kids on to the pitch for a bit of a kick-about. Braithwaite's small daughter has a decent right foot... she's showing her older brother up a tad here. 

And here comes Braithwaite now, taking to the Camp Nou pitch. Some lovely footwork from the striker, who lets loose with some nice moves. We've increasingly seen some rather conservative tricks at unveilings, nobody wanting to "do a Theo," as it's technically known, so kudos to the man for that. 

Braithwaite becomes the fifth Dane to play for Barça after Simonsen, Michael Laudrup, Ronnie Ekelund and Thomas Christiansen. 

Oh, there was Charlton great Allan Simonsen of course, who trod that well-beaten path from Camp Nou to the Valley back in the day. 

He could make his debut against Eibar this weekend, with the small matter of a Clásico around the corner where cult hero status could be his for the taking. After all, we're hard pressed to think of any other Danes who have succeeded at Barça... 

Still, he'll be expected to act more as a foil for Messi and Griezmann than as a Luis Suárez-lite and with his movement and experience he should prove to be a useful addition to the front line. 

Braithwaite hasn't exactly got staggering numbers as a forward with 85 goals in 349 club appearances, the majority of those coming during his spell at Toulouse. In LaLiga he has 10 in 43 games. 

We've just realised that the last player to wear the number 19 was Kevin-Prince Boateng...

"I'm a goalscorer so I'm here to score goals," Braithwaite said earlier as he arrived in Barcelona. You can read his first interview as a Barça player here. 

Huge move for Braithwaite this of course, and you can't blame the 28-year-old for taking this unique opportunity. 

Braithwaite will be out on the pitch in a few minutes to show off what he learned under Garry Monk and Tony Pulis at the Boro... 

And Braithwaite officially takes over the number 19 shirt... 

And there's the handshake, Braithwaite now signs an enormous poster of himself, which we reckon will be on his wall at home in a frame before the day is out. 

Smiles and jokes between the president and his new signing, who scored against Barça at Camp Nou last season in a 3-1 defeat, so at least he knows where the onion bag is. 

And here come Bartomeu and Braithwaite, to sign the contracts. The Dane is rocking a nice tie, cardigan, jacket combo. 

Braithwaite has been handed the number 19 jersey. 

There's also the uncomfortable question, which is bound to be raised, as to why Barça no longer place any faith in La Masia, Ansu Fati aside. Rey Manaj was signed in January and made the bench agianst Getafe.  

Some of which, given recent events, may be quite fruity if Josep Maria Bartomeu takes the mic. And that's before the press pack get to why Barça sold two forwards during the window, failed to replace them in January before said window shut and then signed a player who is ineligible in Europe with 14 games of the domestic season left. 

The formalities are expected to get underway in about 20 minutes, with the old triple-whammy of contract signing, ball juggling and then some questions from the media. 

Braithwaite said his first few words as a Barça player earlier, sending a message to the club's fans. 

Leganés also lost Youssef En-Nesyri to Sevilla last month as well as another centre-forward, Luciano, who moved to Grêmio. They did manage to get Miguel Ángel Guerrero in in loan from Olympiacos on deadline day while Guido Carrillo has chipped in with a few goals during his second loan spell at Butarque but Braithwaite accounts for 33.3 percent of all Lega's Liga goals this season. No side has scored fewer in Spain's top flight. 

It's fair to say that another digit has been raised at Leganés, where the feeling is that the relegation-threatened club have been steamrollered by one of the big boys. Braithwaite is the Cucumber Growers' top scorer this season as they battle to stay up, but while Barça were able to take advantage of a little-known loophole in LaLiga's regulations, Lega will be unable to sign anyone to replace him. 

The thumbs-up from Braithwaite as he undergoes his medical at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. 

With the club not wanting to place too much on the shoulders of Spain under-21 international Fati, it's likely Braithwaite will see more action than the last stop-gap the club brought in, Kevin-Prince Boateng, who managed four appearances without scoring after arriving in a surprise loan deal from Sassuolo a year ago. 

As it stands, the Barcelona manager has just two senior forwards in Leo Messi and Antoine Griezmann, with back-up from teenage Barça B sensation Ansu Fati

Braithwaite will be nominally a direct replacement for Suárez, who is out until at least the end of April after meniscus surgery on his right knee, but it remains to be seen what role Quique Setién decides the 28-year-old will play. 

The Denmark international striker is the man the Barça board finally settled on to act as cover for the injured Luis Suárez and Ousmane Dembélé after a lengthy search that took in Getafe's Ángel Rodríguez, Zaragoza's Luis Suárez, Alavés striker Lucas Pérez and several others. 

Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of Martin Braithwaite's unveiling as a Barcelona player at Camp Nou. 


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