Barcelona announced on Friday the club has signed highly rated 18-year-old Yusuf Demir from Rapid Vienna. The teenager moves to the Camp Nou on a season-long loan with a purchase option of €10 million ($11.8m).
The Catalan giants confirmed the transfer in a statement on the club’s official website.
“FC Barcelona and SK Rapid Vienna have reached an agreement on the loan of Yusuf Demir for the 2021/22 season. This weekend, Demir will take his medical and fitness tests along with nine other Barça B players and will start training with the first team on Monday for the 2021/22 season.”
Demir will join the first-team for the start of pre-season training but is expected to start off initially at Barcelona B “with an eye on the first-team long-term, ” according to ESPN’s Samuel Marsden.
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Why Is Demir Called The ‘Austrian Messi’?
Demir only turned 18 at the start of June 2021 but has already been likened to Lionel Messi. The Guardian’s Michael Yokhin has attempted to explain why the comparisons have cropped up. He explained, “The left-footed playmaker possesses remarkable dribbling skills and a phenomenal passing range – and he is also a brilliant free-kick specialist.”
It’s also been made clear just how much Demir admires Messi. The youngster’s agent, Emre Ozturk, told SPOX in November 2020 about the midfielder’s love for the Argentina international, as reported by Goal.
“Yussi is very creative, dribbling well and has a great left foot,” he said. “His technique and vision are outstanding. The way he plays he is reminiscent of Messi. Yussi is a big Messi fan. He loves everything Messi does. He used to always play in his shirts.”
Comparisons to Messi are unhelpful for any player, particularly one as young as Demir, but he could now get the chance to play alongside his idol having secured a move to the Camp Nou.
What Can Barcelona Expect from Demir
Demir looks set to take over from captain Alex Collado at Barcelona B. The 22-year-old is expected to be handed a chance in the first-team in 2021-22 after impressing for the B team.
The new arrival is a creative midfielder who is also capable of playing further forward and has caught the eye with his ability from set-pieces. He has risen through the ranks at Rapid Vienna, making it all the way into the first team and has also played for the Austria Under-21s.
Demir has also already stated his ambitions quite clearly too. The youngster told Transfermarkt that he wants to win the coveted Ballon d’Or. He said, “I have goals, such as winning as many titles as possible or even the Champions League. Personally, ever since I was a little kid, I have had the dream of one day winning the Ballon d’Or.”
One man who knows all about winning the Ballon d’Or is, of course, Messi who has lifted the coveted trophy a record six times. If Demir can go on and achieve his lofty ambitions then Barca will have bagged an absolute bargain.