Kounde: Xavi inspired my Barcelona transfer and Kobe Bryant influenced my goal celebration

The Frenchman has expressed his delight after agreeing a switch to Camp Nou from Sevilla

Jules Kounde has revealed Xavi’s role in his transfer to Barcelona, insisting that he and his new head coach “see football the same way”. The Blaugrana confirmed that they have reached an agreement to sign the Sevilla defender for a reported fee of €60 million (£50m/$60m) on Thursday, beating Chelsea to his signature after weeks of speculation.

Kounde believes he has taken a big step forward in his career by heading to Camp Nou, where he will be officially unveiled after passing a medical and signing his contract.

He also revealed that his goal celebration draws inspiration from the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, who was a big football fan.

“I am very thankful for this opportunity. I’m very excited because I’m arriving at a great club with a great team,” the 23-year-old said in his first interview with Barca TV.

“Sevilla is a great club of course, but Barca are the next step in my career at every level.

“I want to compete in every competition and try and win as much as possible.

“Xavi is one of the great reasons I am here. I spoke to him several times and the way he spoke was captivating. We had some good conversations and we see football the same way.

“I set myself no limits, I want to grow and learn so I’m going to listen and do the best I can.”

𝑯𝒐𝒍𝒂 𝑪𝒖𝒍𝒆𝒓𝒔! 💙❤ pic.twitter.com/IbWIMnEjQV

Kounde only scored nine goals in 133 games for Sevilla, but he celebrated in a unique fashion each time by shaping his hand into a snake.

Barca fans could soon be treated to the same celebration, which the France international says is his own special tribute to the late Bryant.

“I love basketball and especially Kobe Bryant. The celebration is the Black Mamba and a tribute to Kobe Bryant,” he added.

Kobe Bryant and Stephen Curry celebrations coming to Barcelona this season 🐍 😴 pic.twitter.com/hNNugkiPmY