Barcelona’s historic treble-winning season that saw them play some of the most scintillating football the world has ever seen was an absolute nightmare for Thomas Vermaelen.
“I got a medal but I don’t feel like I won a treble. I was happy for the team, but it’s not as if I contributed to winning any trophies,” said the Belgian defender after Barca’s 3-1 preseason loss to Manchester United in Santa Clara, California.
Having suffered a hamstring injury at the World Cup in Brazil while playing for Belgium, Vermaelen needed surgery which kept him sidelined for the entire season.
Now at the beginning of a new campaign, he is intent on proving his worth to Barcelona after a near £15m move from Arsenal in August 2014: “Last year was terrible. It was a difficult, ugly injury. I’m happy now because my legs feel perfect again, the way they should feel.”
Getting over such a serious injury may have felt insurmountable, but breaking into a treble-winning starting eleven may prove even more of a challenge.