Moscow, July 2 (IANS) Colombia coach Jose Pekerman on Monday praised the improvement Barcelona defender Yerry Mina has made with his national team during their ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup journey in Russia.
Pekerman spoke at a press conference ahead of Los Cafeteros’ round-of-16 match against England, scheduled for Tuesday, reports Efe.
After recovering from a “very tough” moment in wake of criticism aimed at him after joining Barcelona, Pekerman said Mina has improved, once again becoming “the player who we knew in Colombia, in Brazil and in the national team.”
Mina moved to Barcelona earlier this year from Brazilian club Palmeiras, and Pekerman admitted that “He did not play a good game,” referring to the duel between Barcelona and Levante “and he stood out too much.”
Moving past that, the coach said Mina is “a player with many possibilities to continue growing and doing important things in any club and in the national team, as always.”
“I am very respectful with the clubs’ decisions, but I can give my point of view, and he had to play in a tough moment,” Pekerman said, adding that some of the criticism aimed at the player had been out of line.
In the 2018 World Cup, Mina has so far accumulated 180 minutes and has scored two goals.