Mina admits to pressure struggle at Barcelona
Barcelona defender Yerry Mina has opened up about his struggle to settle since joining the club from Palmeiras in January, describing "very difficult moments" that have left him craving a relief from the pressure of Camp Nou.
The 23-year-old Colombia international made just five LaLiga appearances for the Blaugrana following his €11.8 million move, with Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde leaving him behind the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti in the pecking order.
Mina, who scored three goals for his country at the World Cup, has been linked with a possible €24m move to Everton and he indicated that securing a place in the starting 11 – be it at Barcelona or elsewhere – was his aim for 2018-19.
"I want to play for a team where there is less pressure and where I can have minutes," he told reporters.
"I will always try to do my best for me, for my club and I hope that wherever I end up, whether it is at Barcelona or whether I have to leave, I will do it in the best way."
"When I saw that I wasn't even on the bench, that I wasn't even being considered," said Mina, describing his experience at Barcelona last season.
"I started to train alone at home. It is tough to watch your teammates and see the matches on TV, it was a difficult moment that I don't wish on any player.
"There were very difficult moments that were very sad for me because I was really not doing well.
"But for the moment I am happy at Barcelona."
Mina described his apprehension about playing at the World Cup after finding his opportunities so limited under Valverde.
Despite making only four league starts between January and May, Mina was one of Colombia's outstanding performers in Russia, catching the eye of clubs across Europe.
"I was nervous in the first game because I had not played at all, absolutely nothing. I had no minutes," said Mina.
"To go there [to Russia] and wait and then to have things not turn out, it is so hard. But God gave me the opportunity to move forward and show what I am made of."