To the hard core of Barcelona he does not like the changes very much. More than gestures that of words, it is customary to put a face of circumstance when a coach comes to Sant Joan Despí with some different method. He is familiar with a class of exercises, always related to the Barça football school. It worked for them and it works for them. "In general they like to do only three types of exercises: rondos, possession and matches in reduced spaces", they count from the Ciudad Deportiva del Barcelona. Barça DNA in its purest form, difficult to interpret for those who grew up outside the Masia, as happened to Semedo, a physical portent, less delicate with the ball in his right boot.
Semedo came to Barcelona in the summer of 2017 for 30 million. His mission, the same one that had been entrusted to Aleix Vidal: fill the vacuum of Dani Alves. But the Catalan side never finished and Luis Enrique, then coach of Barcelona, improvised with Sergi Roberto in the defense. The youth squad did not fail, more ductile to attack than to retreat, nothing strange in a footballer who tanned in the midfield. In any case, former Barça technical secretary Robert Fernandez trusted Semedo (25 years) to take over the side. I understood Sergi Roberto as a patch, not a solution. "It is a signing of mine," said the former Barça sports director. However, the Portuguese adaptation to the Camp Nou came in slow motion.
In his first season with Barcelona, he played 36 games (28 starts). Numbers far from those of a rookie, but they did not give him a reel. He signed a spreadsheet with 87.23% accuracy in the passes, an average recovery of 4.64 balls and 9.4 losses. Its competitor, Sergi Roberto: 90.67%, 5.2 and 8.7. "You can notice things right away, when the costumes do not accept a player. With Nelson it was not the case, everyone understood that he was in a process of adaptation, "they explain from the environment of the coaching staff. The Portuguese did not despair. He tried not to lower his arms in training, while waiting for his chance in the starting lineup, never offered in the important matches of Barcelona. And he even ran out of World Cup.
"It's not easy for any player to reach a club like ours," defends Valverde. "Sometimes, we play with very little space. It is required to understand that position game that you have to get used to. And a footballer with the characteristics of Nelson needs space ", completes the Barca coach. Valverde trusted Semedo, also his companions. "He is a very good boy who adapted very well to the group. Everyone loves him. He understood what it means to be in a wardrobe like this and what is his role, "they explain from the Sports City. Little by little, Semedo has begun to expand, more relaxed with the ball, firm in the mark, author of his first goal as a Barça player against Girona.
Difficult to pass
The Luso has improved his percentage of passes (90.70%) and his turnovers (8.15), while maintaining his number of recoveries. "Defensively he solves many things for us. He is a player very difficult to overflow and that attack gives us many things, "explains Barca coach. Never as quiet as in the classic. I did not have a simple task, to contain the able Vinicius. Valverde knew that the fortress of Madrid in attack was on the left wing, reason enough to bet on the Portuguese. The calculation did not fail him.
Semedo finished the classic with five innings and six dribbles. No azulgrana birló so many balls, nor was so successful in his gambetas. "Nelson is settled. Sometimes, it is more loose and other times less, "underlines Valverde, still without a favorite for the right back. "I am altering them according to the party and the efforts," says Txingurri. Of course, against Madrid there was no doubt that his man was Semedo. "They were going to throw us high blood pressure." Semedo is released at the Camp Nou.