After falling in Rome in a resounding way in the Champions quarters of the previous year (3-0), the directive's anger was morrocotudo and it was leaked that Nélson Semedo had the days counted by his pineapple in the third goal, when Manolas was ahead in the auction. "It's a lie," they reply from the offices of the Camp Nou. But it was suggested from the top instances that they should have played Dembélé, bet of the club, and Paulinho, signed for the round-of-round duels as now Vidal. Although the one that remained in ugly duckling was Semedo, who since he came to Barça fights against the elements.
Semedo faced the difficulty of supplying Alves, one of the best side in the history of Barça, partner of Messi on the mat and defibrillator for matches closed for their careers and centers. Neymar did not give it to him in New York either, when in preseason he was confronted by a ticket and they did not reach the majors by a little. "Semedo did nothing. But it is a piece of bread! ", They explain in the sports city; "Ney was nervous about his transfer to PSG and he paid with the new one. " The Portuguese, a couple of days later, explained: "It bothered me at first, but then I understood that I was in a difficult moment, I wanted to leave". His struggle, however, had only just begun because from the beginning until today he has fought with Sergi Roberto, one of the few homegrown players who have settled on the team in recent years. "Compete with a player from La Masia who gives the grade with a note", accept from the club, while admitting that it is possible that Semedo, 24 years old, get tired of the situation; "Because I would be a starter in any other team."
"It's a modern side"
Signed for 30 million – the third most expensive defense in the history of Barça after Alves (36) and Lenglet (35) -, the sports area opted for Semedo after Bellerín could not force his exit from Arsenal and they did not prosper the negotiations for Dalot (then in Oporto and now in United). "Internally, we all have a very good opinion of him. It is a modern side with travel, muscle, speed, power and good treatment to the ball, so it is not only defensive, "says a club source, aware that in his last season with Benfica distributed 12 assists. Virtue that he forgot in the suitcase because since he arrived at the Camp Nou, in 2017, he has only given two goal passes (one every 1.517 minutes). "It has to improve in how to finish the plays and in taking the precision that our attack demands", clarify from the club; "But if you look at the preseason and matches this year, the trend is very positive." At least it is in the pass because it is the second defense that has the best percentage in the deliveries, with a 94.6% success. The front is left Umtiti (95.6%) and behind, Mandi (94.4%), Ramos (93.8%) and Piqué (93.1%).
It was never easy for Semedo, who did not seem to have a future at Benfica until coach Hélder Cristovão changed him from playmaker to lateral, even if at first the player resisted. Now, the doubts about Semedo, not mentioned for the World Cup in Russia, are repeated in the Barça. "He is an intelligent player who knows how to handle criticism and who is very strong in the head. In the Camp Nou, which is as easy to raise as it is to bury, he has followed his line of progression and has never lowered his arms ", they praise him from the offices of the club. At the moment the desire expressed at his arrival seems distant: "I would like to raise the Champions League and win everything to be internally remembered as one of the best sides in club history".