Sockless Mina looks to learn from Barcelona teammates

Barcelona’s new signing Colombia’s Yerry Mina gestures during his official presentation at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (AP)
Updated 13 January 2018
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Sockless Mina looks to learn from Barcelona teammates

MADRID: Newly signed Barcelona defender Yerry Mina took off his shoes and socks before stepping onto the field at Camp Nou Stadium during his official introduction to fans on Saturday.
For the young Colombian, it was an important first step into his new home.
“There is a verse in life that says that the soles of your feet will touch the land that you want to conquer,” Mina said. “And I want to make history here. I want to triumph.”
The 23-year-old Mina was signed from Brazilian club Palmeiras for 11.8 million euros ($14.3 million), “fulfilling a dream” and joining a defense that has been depleted by the injury of France international Samuel Umtiti.
He is set to become the first Colombian to play an official match with the Catalan club.
“I want to add my grain of sand, learn from my teammates,” the easy-going defender said. “We know the quality of my teammates, they are extremely good. Little by little I want to learn and work hard to become a good fit to the squad.”
Barcelona’s defense also has Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano and Thomas Vermaelen, who has been playing as a starter in Umtiti’s absence.
The tallest player in the squad at 1.95 meters (6-foot-4), Mina is known for his speed and impressive play with the ball at his feet. He is a threat on set-pieces and often makes runs forward.
“I’ve always enjoyed Barcelona’s style,” Mina said. “It’s gratifying that it’s a style that I like.”
Mina’s contract is valid until June 2023 and has a buyout clause of 100 million euros ($119 million).
Barcelona initially 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 the hamstring injury to Umtiti, who hasn’t played since December and is not likely to return until next month.
Mina and Palmeiras already knew of Barcelona’s interest when he was signed from Colombian club Independiente Santa Fe at the beginning of 2016.
Mina had helped Santa Fe win the Copa Sudamericana in 2015, and was key for Palmeiras when it won the Brazilian league in 2016 and was runner-up in 2017. He was named one of the league’s best defenders in 2016.
Mina scored nine goals in 49 matches with Palmeiras, celebrating with his traditional dance moves.
“I always try to express what I feel while I’m on the field,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes here. I’ll adapt to what the group wants to do.”


‘It’s epic’: Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal stars tour incredible Ad Diriyah E Prix venue

Al-Nassr’s Nigerian superstar Ahmed Musa (back right) joins (front left to right) Al-Hilal’s Ali Al-Habsi and Mohammad Jahfali and (back left) Saleh Alweheemed ahead of this weekend’s 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E-Prix. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 10 December 2018
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‘It’s epic’: Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal stars tour incredible Ad Diriyah E Prix venue

  • 22 Formula E drivers will battle it out for glory this weekend
  • "I’m very happy to see how Saudi Arabia is becoming a rising name for big sports"

JEDDAH: They may be fierce rivals in the Saudi Pro League, but some of the biggest stars of Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr football got together to tour the venue of one of the most anticipated motor racing events in Saudi history.
The players soaked up the atmosphere as they visited the home of the 2018 ‘Saudia’ Ad Diriyah E Prix.
This weekend the 2.495km track created within the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad Diriyah will see 22 Formula E drivers battle it out for glory.
Goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi said: “I’m totally amazed by what they have built here, the track, the grandstands, the hospitality, it’s incredible what they’ve created for the Formula E.  It’s epic.
“As a professional athlete I’m very happy to see how Saudi Arabia is becoming a rising name for big sports, this will be a fiercely fought contest which is sure to thrill the fans.”

 (Left to right) Al Hilal star players Alberto Botia, Abdullah Almaiouf, Mohammad Jahfali, Ali Al-Habsi and Carlos Eduardo visit the new Formula E track at the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Ad Diriyah. (Photo/Supplied)

The racing extravaganza will also be accompanied by fan zones, entertainment and cultural attractions.
Three nights of music concerts will feature some of the biggest names in world. 
US smash hit OneRepublic and superstar DJ/producer David Guetta will wrap up the event after the race ends on Saturday with Enrique Iglesias, Jason Derulo and Amr Diab performing from Thursday.
Al Nassr’s Nigerian superstar Ahmed Mussa said: “We’re all about entertaining fans and bringing people together, that’s what football and sport is all about. These three nights will be a spectacle like nothing we’ve seen before and I urge our fans to come and be part of history.”