|Yerry Mina celebrates equaliser against England|
With their star man James Rodríguez injured, South American team Colombia couldn’t conquer England as they crashed out in the Round of 16 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on penalty shootouts despite putting up a fight to qualify to the next round.
World Cup top scorer Harry Kane put England in the lead from the spot in the 57th minute after Colombia midfielder Carlos Sánchez committed an atrocious foul to give away a penalty. Colombia fought hard but it looked like they were going out after 90 minutes until a man on the number 13 yellow shirt showed up. Yerry Mina headed in a Juan Cuadrado corner on the third minute of added time to give his team a second chance.
Throughout the game, the Barcelona defender was solid from his end of the pitch to that of the Three Lions, defended with total passion and power, won almost all his aerial duels, blocked shots, made good line-breaking passes from the back, intercepted balls. He did everything that would make a defender get a 10/10 rating including scoring a very important goal. He played the extra time through injury and didn’t have a chance to take a spot kick as his team undeservedly lost 4-3 on penalties and for some reasons nobody understands, the Man of the Match award was awarded to Harry Kane, a man he had in his pockets.
It should be noted that this isn’t the first time Yerry Mina is pulling a 10/10 for Colombia in the World Cup. In a game they needed a win, the giant midfielder turned up to score the game-winner against Senegal to ensure Colombia topped their group, he was Man of the Match in that game. The goal against England is his third of the tournament, making him the Barca player with most goals in the 2018 World Cup. Funny is that all three goals were headers making him only the third defender to score 3+ in a tournament in World Cup history. He’s been arguably the best central defender of the World Cup.
Yerry Mina was signed by Barça in January from Brazilian club Palmeiras for a fee of around 12 million euros but ever since then, he’s been struggling to adapt to life in Catalunya and has been criticized heavily for his almost-usual poor display whenever called upon. It was then rumoured that he’d be on his way out of the club after the world cup with Barca hoping he plays well in order to sell him for a good price.
Well, Barcelona would be happy now, he’s performed greatly, probably more than anyone’s expectation but would it be wise for Barcelona to throw away one of World Cup’s best performers with the hope of him improving in his second season or should Barcelona use this opportunity to cash in on him and go for a defender that fits their profile more? Recent reports suggest that English club Liverpool are interested in his services and there surely will be more offers.
Ajax defender De Ligt is a fan favourite in the eyes of Culés, suggestions point that Barca could use funds from Mina’s transfer to get the youngster. Anyway, if Mina leaves, Barcelona opens one more Non-EU spot and got money for a defender that was poor in his first season, if he stays then Barcelona would have the World Cup’s best performing defender in their ranks for the 2018/2019 season. What do you suggest?