The Spain international, who is preparing to face Italy and Albania over the next five days, told Barcelona’s official website: “I was looking forward to coming, to see the people I left behind and see how things are going.

“I always wish them the best and I hope they can stay on top.”

He added on Chelsea: “[I am] enjoying a new and different experience. The team is in good shape in the top half of the table and we are working hard with the coach.”