The Brazilian gave the Blaugrana the lead late in the second half before the game ended in a draw.
Barcelona were cruising throughout the match against Inter Milan in their Champions League tie. The Spanish champions almost had all three points, after Malcom scored in the 83rd minute to give them the lead. Although, the Italians did find a way to fight back as captain Mauro Icardi’s equalizer saw the match end in a 1-1 draw.
It was an important day for Malcom as he came on as a substitute to give Barca a very important lead at the San Siro. This was the fourth appearance for the 21-year-old and three of them have been from the bench, with the Copa Del Rey match against Cultural Leonesa being his only start for the Catalans.
There has been criticism and speculation regarding the Brazilian and it was clearly seen that he was eager to get on the pitch and score. His tears after scoring were a testament to that fact. His teammate Sergio Busquets stood by him and backed the youngster in front of the media.
“It’s not fair that he’s judged on one game in the cup because he had hardly played all season before that,” Busquets told reporters. “It’s impossible to have any sort of rhythm [when you aren’t playing regularly]. There was a lot of unjust [criticism] about the players that played in the cup.”
On the other hand, there has also been speculation about the winger leaving the club in the January window for a short period of time probably on loan, just to get more playing time and mature as a player. The winger though, has denied the claims.
The Catalans signed Malcom for €41m in the summer transfer window from Bourdeaux after a transfer saga, which also involved AS Roma. However, the Brazilian has not found life easy in Spain.
He clearly mentioned that those rumours have added more pressure to an already difficult start with the Catalans. One could imagine what he has gone through as he broke down into tears after scoring his first goal in Barcelona colours.
“We’re all happy for Malcom,” Busquets said. “His tears were emotional. He’s not getting the minutes he wants, but in training, he’s working really hard. He really wants to turn things around. He’s a great kid. He’s done really well and the goal will do him good. He is going to help us a lot.”
Malcom has always been a busy player on the pitch. If he doesn’t score he tries to assist his teammates. His blistering pace and trickery can often make life difficult for opposition defenders. Hopefully, a bright performance against Inter will kick-start his Barcelona career.
“[Playing for] Barcelona was a dream I had as a kid,” he told reporters. “Making my debut in the Champions League and scoring will stay in my memory forever – I will celebrate it with my family tonight.
“My dream with Barca is just starting. My dream is to make history and to do big things. I have to thank my teammates for showing confidence in me.”
“I want to play more,” he said. “Every day I train to show the quality I can add to the team. Nothing in my life has been easy.”
The Brazilian winger is in the hunt for a bigger role at the club, as he is sweating it out in training to gain manager Ernesto Valverde‘s trust. Now whether the gaffer was impressed with his performance at the San Siro or not will be revealed in their next La Liga match against Real Betis on Sunday.