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Sep 26, 2012

Song: I joined Barca to win trophies

Alex Song has said he joined Barcelona from Arsenal in order to win trophies, adding that he had no fears about facing Cristiano Ronaldo in next month's clasico.

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Song, 25, who spent seven seasons at Arsenal without picking up any medals before signing for Barca for €19 million in August, told Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo he had left the Gunners because he wanted silverware.

"I am hungry," he said. "I have never won anything. I have come here to play a lot of games and win everything."

Once he was made aware of Barcelona's interest last summer, he said he had immediately decided to go there. "In July, Barca spoke with Arsenal and Arsene Wenger came to tell me about it," he explained.

"It was difficult to convince him and also to say goodbye, as he helped me and my family a lot when I arrived at Arsenal aged 17. But when you love Barca, you cannot say no. A train like this only passes once in a lifetime and you must catch it."

The Cameroon international, who has already been given the nickname Songito by his former Gunners team-mate Cesc Fabregas, played at centre-back in last Saturday's 2-0 La Liga win over Granada at the Camp Nou, despite being seen as a midfielder during his time in the Premier League.

With regular Barca centre-backs Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique injured, it looks likely that he will play in defence against Real Madrid in the season's first La Liga clasico on October 7.

Song said playing in defence was nothing new for him, adding: "I play wherever the coach asks me. I have played there many times [for Arsenal] when there were injuries, and I have finished games in defence having started in midfield."

Although playing in defence against Madrid would mean having to handle Ronaldo, Song said he had enough experience for that job. "Of course we are stronger with Pique and Puyol at centre-back, but I am ready and have already played against Cristiano in the Premier League," he said.

"I have not just begun playing - I am not 17 or 18 years old. I have played over 200 games for Arsenal, and have nothing to worry about. I will not think about stopping Cristiano if it happens."

Since arriving in Catalonia, Song has often been compared to fellow midfielder Yaya Toure, who played centre-back in the 2009 Champions League final for Barcelona before leaving for Manchester City in 2010.

Song said he preferred to make his own name than being compared to others. "I cannot compare myself to him," he said. "He is a great player and I have a lot of respect for him. But I have not come here to be the new Toure, but to be myself."

Meanwhile, Barca president Sandro Rosell said the club would do everything in its power to ensure a contract extension is agreed with Xavi.

Rosell said: "We will do everything we possibly can and I think he also wants to finish his career here. He is a role model, a legend."

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