Mina brings solid defending and Colombian flair to Barcelona

MADRID (AP) – There will be some Colombian dancing in Barcelona.

A few days after signing Philippe Coutinho to boost its attack, Barcelona strengthened its defence by adding young Colombian international Yerry Mina, a solid defender who is a threat on set-pieces and is known for his slick dance moves during goal celebrations.

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.

“Mina arrives to reinforce the central defensive positions,” Barcelona said in a statement. “He will bring a physical presence as his 1.95-metre frame suggests, but he is also a quick, ball-playing defender. The Colombian uses his aerial prowess to impose himself and score goals.”

Colombia’s Yerry Mina. – AP

The easy-going defender celebrates his goals with dance moves that often go viral online.

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 nine million euros, but agreed to pay extra and advance the deal because of Umtiti’s hamstring injury.