Arda Turan is one step closer towards achieving his childhood dream of playing for Barcelona after being officially registered and receiving his shirt number today.
The Turkish international star will wear the number seven shirt this season and is expected to make his debut on Wednesday against rivals Espanyol in the Spanish Cup Last 16 first-leg tie at the Nou Camp.
Turan first encountered Barcelona as a ball boy for Galatasaray back in March 2002 at the Ali Sami Yen when the current La Liga champions beat the Lions 1-0 in the Champions League.
Coincidently – or perhaps it was fate – Barcelona boss Luis Enrique scored the winning goal that day.
Turan had always stated that his ultimate goal in football was to play for Barcelona and his dream was made true this summer.
Enrique played a key role in pushing through the transfer of Turan over the summer transfer window and made no secret that he intends the bearded winger to play an important role in his team this season.
“I am delighted and I take the opportunity to congratulate Barca’s interim management for signing Turan, a key player for us and whom we have a lot of confidence in,” he was quoted as saying by ESPN.
Turan revealed that Enrique personally wanted him in the team and made sure that the move went ahead.
Turan told NTV Spor: “Luis Enrirque wanted me at Barcelona, he does not want me to leave on loan either, he is the reason I am here. Perhaps it is because one of my strengths is keeping possession and not giving away the ball, I had a good record at Atletico Madrid in terms of ball retention.”
The bearded winger may need a bit of time to reach full match fitness but he will not be too bothered as he has established himself as a key player wherever he has played over the course of his club and international career.
Turan has lifted every domestic title in Turkey as well as Spain and almost every European competition title except the Champions League.
New home. A childhood dream come true. Thank you everyone who made it possible. pic.twitter.com/axvrBYE6WO
— Arda Turan (@ArdaTuran) July 10, 2015