For most of his career, Everton defender Yerry Mina was known as an entertaining player, always getting extra attention, especially in South America, for his jokes and dances.
That’s certainly not a common characteristic for a centre-back, and perhaps that’s why his image has been changing lately, with the 27-year-old clearly looking more serious on the pitch.
This transformation is explained today by Colombian outlet Gol Caracol, who feature a headline saying ‘The mettle that Yerry Mina has gained in Everton and that he has put at the service of the Colombia national team’.
The story recalls a press conference from Toffees boss Rafa Benítez where he claimed he didn’t want just a ‘good boy’ in defence, demanding more intensity from Mina.
So Gol Caracol points out this transformation to a ‘bad boy’ by recalling the tough encounters he’s been having with Leeds United’s Patrick Bamford, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Fabio Silva and Manchester United’s Scott McTominay and Edinson Cavani.
Now with Colombia playing two games in the international break, the defender seems to have picked two stars to go after. First Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, and on Sunday, Brazil’s Neymar.
Mina and the PSG forward kept provoking each other, with Neymar clearly not performing his best, and that was one of the crucial factors for the Cafeteros to finally hold Brazil to a 0-0 draw after their eight straight wins.
‘This is a new Yerry Mina’, Gol Caracol writes, saying the player has been ’empowered to the maximum’.