A local boy coming home to play on the international stage, Barcelona's Jeremy Guillemenot shared his views on the UEFA Youth League as he prepares for action in the Nyon semi-finals.
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Over the next few days, Jeremy Guillemenot's Barcelona will compete for the Lennart Johansson trophy, awarded to the winners of the UEFA Youth League.
The Geneva-born forward is back in his native Switzerland as his side prepare for action at the Colovray Stadium, opposite UEFA's headquarters in Nyon. The UEFA Youth League aims to give clubs' Under-19 teams experience of international football, and Guillemenot tells UEFA.org that it has certainly been quite an adventure so far.
UEFA: What does it mean to you to be back home in Switzerland for the UEFA Youth League?
Guillemenot: The UEFA Youth League is the biggest tournament I have played in so far, and it's one that I dreamed of playing in. It will be emotional, and also a bit strange to come back to Switzerland. My whole family and a lot of my friends will be there, which might be unusual, but it will only bring happiness and have a positive influence.
UEFA: Tell us about your journey from Geneva to Camp Nou?
Guillemenot: From an early age, I always wanted to be kicking a ball – maybe even when I was still in my mum's tummy. I was always playing with a ball. It wasn't my parents who put me up to it. I just had a passion for the ball, as if it was my girlfriend. In fact, it still is. I went to a football school, and was at FC UGS for a short time before joining Geneva's leading club Servette, where I came up through the ranks until this year when I joined Barcelona.
UEFA: Is moving abroad an experience you would recommend to other Swiss players?
Guillemenot: Yes, I didn't come to Barcelona just because it is Barcelona, and just to wear the badge, but because they convinced me to do so. This is a strong club that has everything that a player needs to get even better. I'd recommend coming to Barcelona to anyone, because it's really another world here. No other word describes it better than 'magical'.
The UEFA Youth League games are being broadcast live on numerous TV channels on Friday and Sunday, with crowds of around 12,000 expected at the Colovray Stadium for each game. Read more on the UEFA Youth League