Overview of Player
Yerry Mina is an out-and-out Centre back who has been playing for FC Barcelona this season. He was signed from Palmeiras in 2018 following 26 appearances in which he scored 6. As a centre-back… you see strikers with worse returns than that.
Yerry Mina represented the Colombian Olympic team for football in 2016 and scored a goal in his four appearances. However it wasn’t meant to be and they went out to a Neymar inspired Brazil in a 2-0 defeat. He has since represented the Senior Colombia team for a total of 12 times where has scored 3. Again, a better return than some forwards…
Overview on Nation
Colombia are one of those teams that are always expected to do somewhat well, but never the full way. A dark horse as you could say. If you look back to the 2014 cup, they got to the quarter finals in a game that many thought they deserved to win.
Colombia only has one major title to their name which was the Copa America in 2001 yet has no other titles with the next closest being a runners-up in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2000. Colombia are going into the World Cup with an average squad age of 28.3 and 20 of their players going to the tournament playing their trade abroad. The youngest of these is Davinson Sanchez (20) of Tottenham Hotspur whilst the oldest is Farid Diaz (34) of Olimpia Asuncion in Paraguay.
When you compare this to 2014 where their oldest player, Faryd Mondragon was 42 whilst their youngest was Football Manager legend Eder Alvarez Balanta. The average squad age back in 2014 was 28.4 so only just .1 of a year older and they achieved their best finish with that squad at a World Cup, will lightning strike twice perhaps?
Performance of player in qualification
Colombia were able to finish 4th overall in South American qualification following 7 wins, 6 draws and 5 losses.
Yerry Mina played his first qualification game against Paraguay in a late 1-0 win for Colombia. In his next game he was able to score in the 85th minute against Uruguay to rescue a point for Colombia with a ridiculously powerful header from the outside of the box. (Yerry Mina will become a striker, you heard it here first). From here on he was playing virtually every game as a starter. He wasn’t as prolific in qualifying as he was in friendlies following a brace against Cameroon in June 2017 in a friendly.
There are areas that need to be worked upon by Yerry Mina such as the fouls he often gives away. This leads him to often receive cards as shown by 3 from his last 10 games however his passing and ability to win aerial duels are key to his style of play. As a 6’5 defender it’s rare to see a player normally have his speed but he is often known to outpace players such as Ronaldo in an equal sprint race.
In terms of how much he can influence Colombia’s world cup chances at the World Cup, it depends on his attitude and how he handles himself under the pressure. In my opinion, it’s a 6/10 as there are other players who can fill in his place.
Why he’s one to watch
When you see a player of Yerrt Mina’s stature and then see his age you are taken aback. Then you look and see he was not only signed by Barcelona, but he now has clubs such as Liverpool sniffing around as a first team player despite only 5 first team appearances. This isn’t the sign of someone who will fade away, he will step up to the plate and smash it out of the park.
He is a player who makes being a defender look interesting, he makes those drives forwards, he puts in that extra level to reach that ball in a last-ditch tackle and he scores goals at an amazing rate for a defender. Despite his age and relative inexperience, I think he will show in this tournament why he is going to become one of the world’s best defenders over the next few years.
Video of player/compilation
A compilation of Yerry’s highlights and, seemingly ‘confirmed’ transfer to Dortmund…
From his stats you can see his highest stat is his jumping reach whilst his next highest rated are his heading and strength with both being 16. You then see for the majority of the key stats, they are all 13/14 such as positioning, tackling, marking and composure which is key as time progresses in this tournament where a split second decision will become crucial.
Give it a few years and we will be seeing Yerry captaining Colombia. I am certain.
This isn’t the only ‘One to Watch’, we are releasing a one to watch article for every nation in the World Cup. An hour before each team kick off their first World Cup Group Stage game, we will release that nations one to watch. These can be viewed here – One to Watch for all Nations in World Cup 2018
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