Thomas Vermaelen: ‘People think being a Barcelona defender is easy’ | Sid Lowe

The Belgian has overcome an injury nightmare to shine at Barça. Before facing Chelsea he discusses why his role is harder than it looks, how Messi makes him laugh and his sadness at Arsenal’s strugglesNo one was happier to find out the lineup than Raff and Ace, but their dad was not far behind. Thomas Vermaelen was in the tunnel at the Santiago Bernabéu and did not see the video of his sons excitedly running towards the TV screen shouting and pointing until later, by which time hundreds of thousands of others already had, yet the footage became a measure of how much it meant. The clásico is the world’s biggest match, watched by millions round the world, including a couple of small boys, aged two and four, and their little cousin; for the Belgian, it was even more than that. “I felt like I had finally made a at Barcelona,” he says. Related: Champions League: fans from around Europe preview the last-16 stage Continue reading...