MADRID — There will be some Colombian dancing in Barcelona.
A few days after signing Philippe Coutinho to boost its offence, Barcelona strengthened its defence by adding young Colombian international Yerry Mina, known for his slick dance moves in goal celebrations.
The solid defender is a threat offensively and always celebrates his goals with unique moves that often go viral online.
Barcelona brought in the 23-year-old player from Brazilian club Palmeiras to try to make up for the absence of France international Samuel Umtiti, who has been out injured since the beginning of December and is not likely to return until next month.
The Spanish league leader said on Thursday it has paid 11.8 million euros ($14 million) for the tall and speedy Mina, who will become the first Colombian to play an official game for the Spanish club. He will also become the tallest player in the squad at 1.95 metres (6-foot-4).
The contract is valid until June 2023 and has a buyout clause of 100 million euros ($119 million).
Barcelona had an agreement with Palmeiras to bring Mina in the middle of this year for about 9 million euros, but agreed to pay extra and advance the deal because of Umtiti’s hamstring injury.
Barcelona has been using Thomas Vermaelen alongside Gerard Pique in the middle of the defence, with Javier Mascherano as their backup.
Mina is known for his speed and daring. He often makes runs forward and is dangerous in the box thanks to his vertical reach. Most of his goals for Palmeiras have been off set-pieces, and he ended his stint in Brazil with nine goals in 49 matches.
“Mina arrives to reinforce the central defensive positions,” Barcelona said in a statement. “He will bring a physical presence as his 1.95-meter frame suggests, but he is also a quick, ball-playing defender. The Colombian uses his aerial prowess to impose himself and score goals.”
Mina, who started as a goalkeeper as a youngster, was a key part for Palmeiras as it won the Brazilian league in 2016 and was runner-up last year. He also helped former Colombian club Independiente Santa Fe win the Copa Sudamericana in 2015.
Part of the transfer fee will go …read more