Thomas Vermaelen aims to prove himself at Barcelona this season

Thomas Vermaelen is hoping for an injury-free campaign at Barcelona
Image: Thomas Vermaelen is hoping for an injury-free campaign at Barcelona

Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen feels he has a point to prove at the club following a debut season ravaged by injuries.

The Belgium international struggled to recover from a hamstring strain he suffered at the World Cup and then sustained a serious thigh injury following his £15m move from Arsenal.

And although Vermaelen had to wait until the final league game of the season to make his competitive debut for Barca, he picked up three winners' medals as part of the treble-winning squad.

While the 29-year-old was obviously delighted at the club’s success last season, he concedes he felt uneasy about picking up the prizes.

"I got a medal, but you don't feel like you have won the treble," Vermaelen said.

"I was very happy for the team, but it's not like I contributed a lot for the cups we won."

Vermaelen has come through the first two games of Barca's pre-season tour of the United States unscathed and is optimistic about maintaining his fitness in the build-up to the new campaign.

He played for an hour during Barcelona's 3-1 friendly defeat to Manchester United in Santa Clara on Saturday.

"I am very happy and very pleased to be back," Vermaelen said. "There's nothing better than to feel fit.

"Last year was terrible. It was a nasty injury, a very difficult one and I am very happy that the feeling in the legs is perfect again, like it should be.

"I feel 100 per cent now. We just started pre-season so I am adapting still but I had 60 minutes against a good opponent so I am very pleased with that."

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