Arda Turan arrives in Barcelona

Arda Turan on arrival at BCN airport
After flying from Istanbul on Thursday afternoon, the Turk will be presented to the media early on Friday morning

The new FC Barcelona signing has arrived in town for his official presentation. Following the announcement of his transfer, Arda Turan flew from Istanbul to the Catalan capital on Thursday afternoon to sign his contract with his new club. His flight touched down shortly after 5.00pm CET, and he was transferred directly from the airport to the FCB offices for the traditional photo shoot in front of the club crest.

The midfielder said on arrival that “this is a great day for me … I am very happy … It is very important for my career and for my country that I have signed for FC Barcelona.”

The Turk will be officially presented on Friday morning. At 9:30am CET, he will put pen to paper, and will then give a media conference. After that, at around 11.30am CET, he will be appearing in his new shirt on the Camp Nou turf.

Arda Turan is the tenth signing from Atlético by Barça

Arda Turan chats to Rakitic in the tunnel at Camp Nou  / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The Turk is the second foreigner to come to the Club via the Vicente Calderón

Johan Cruyff’s ‘Dream Team’ brought in four players from ‘los colchoeros’

Arda Turan is the tenth signing by FC Barcelona from Atlético Madrid. The arrival of the Turkish midfielder means that Barça have brought in a player from ‘los colchoneros’ for the first time in 12 years. The last player to make the trip from the Vicente Calderón to Camp Nou was striker Luis García, a player who had come up through the youth ranks at the blaugranes. He arrived in the summer of 2003 after just a season with Atlético. In 2007 he would return to Madrid for a two year spell.

 Members of the ‘Dream Team’

Up to four members of the famous ‘Dream Team’ squad came to Barcelona via Atlético. The first was defender Julio Alberto who played for nine seasons at Barça. The Asturian was signed in the summer of 1982 and then left in 1991 after having claimed the league title with Johan Cruyff’s team.

Julio Salinas and Eusebio came from the Calderón in the summer of 1988, whilst Juan Carlos Rodríguez made the same trip in 1991. All played important roles in the four consecutive league titles won the ‘Dream Team’ and in the Club’s first ever European Cup success.

The first four players to leave the capital for Catalan climes were the striker Marcos Alonso (1982-87), the Portuguese Mendonça (1967-69), defender Valcárcel (1939-40) and the midfielder Victoriano de Santos (1933-34).

10 blaugranes signed from Atlético
Name Football name Position Years at Barça
Victoriano de Santos De Santos Midfielder 1933-1934
Miguel Ángel Valcárcel Valcárcel Defender 1939-1940
Jorge Alberto Mendonça Mendonça Striker 1967-1969
Marcos Alonso Marcos Alonso Striker 1982-1987
Julio Alberto Moreno Julio Alberto Defender 1982-1991
Julio Salinas Salinas Striker 1988-1994

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Eusebio Sacristán

Eusebio Midfielder 1988-1995
Juan Carlos Rodríguez Juan Carlos Defender 1991-1994
Luis García Luis García Striker 2003-2004
Arda Turan Arda Turan Midfielder 2015-

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Arda Turan will be presented as an FC Barcelona player on Friday

Arda Turan in action against Sergio Busquets / FCB Archive
The Turkish footballer will arrive in Barcelona on Thursday and on Friday he will sign his contract and make an appearance on the field at Camp Nou

Arda Turan will begin life as an FC Barcelona player from this Thursday, 9 July. The Turkish footballer will arrive in Barcelona on Thursday and at 6.00pm the traditional photo session in front of the Club Offices will take place. On Friday morning Turan will sign his contract with the Club and then will appear in a press conference before taking to Camp Nou for the first time wearing the Barça shirt.

The timetable is as follows:

Thursday 9 July

–          At 6.00pm CET, photo session outside the Club offices.

Friday 10 July

–          At 10.00am, press conference in the Ricard Maxenchs Press Room

–          At 11.30am, photo session on the field at Camp Nou, open to the public  

Arda Turan attracted by FC Barcelona values

Arda Turan has already tried on the FC Barcelona shirt / FCB
Speaking to fcbarcelona.com in Istanbul, the Turk has said that “being part of Barça is the reward for all the work I have done and the culmination of my career”

28 year old Arda Turan has joined FC Barcelona after four seasons at Atlético Madrid and five at the club where he turned professional, Galatasaray. A versatile player with a strong physique and attacking mentality, the Turk describes his move to Catalonia as the ‘culmination of a dream’. He is still on holiday in his home country at the moment, where he spoke to fcbarcelona.com ahead of his official presentation as Barcelona’s latest signing.

For most players, playing for the Barça first team is the culmination of all their footballing dreams. What does it mean to you to form part of this club?

It means a lot to be part of FC Barcelona. It’s my dream, the reward for all the work I have done and the culmination of my career. It means everything to me.

The Barça midfield has lost Xavi, but your arrival seems to have  reassured a lot of the fans. Are you ready for this challenge?

I am ready for the challenge of playing for Barça. I believe in my possibilities and those of my team-mates. I am sure that they will help me a lot to adapt.

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What attracted you most about becoming a Barça player?

What most attracted me to Barça is its values. It is evident that what makes this club different is its values. That’s what makes it different from other teams. As players, on and off the field, these values are the system, the aspect that the team transmits, the way they play … In short, Barça is a team on and off the pitch.

The Barça system is different to that of Simeone’s Atlético. Do you think that your style of play will adapt quickly to Luis Enrique and Barça’s game-plan?

I feel a predilection for the Barça system and that of Luis Enrique. My aim was to play here, to adapt it to my philosophy of never giving up, of always believing in myself and my team. Of fighting right to the end. I’ll do the very best I can to adapt to the system and get better day by day.

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You have often spoken about Leo Messi and your admiration for him. What does it mean to you to play alongside him?

Well, what can I say about Messi? He’s simply the best player ever. I have said that in lots of interviews and I still think the same. He’s the best. It will be honour to wear the same shirt as him and play in the same team.

Who was your childhood hero?

My hero has always been Maradona, but of the current players, the answer is obviously Iniesta.

Barça is a team that tends to score a lot of goals. Do you think you can contribute to the team in that respect? You scored 43 goals for Galatasaray in five seasons, so you do have experience in that respect.

I don’t set personal targets, and it’s not a case of wanting to beat my previous stats, but with these players and this system, I am sure I’ll be able to do a lot more and improve my stats considerably. It is really important for me to integrate into the team and Luis Enrique’s system.

You were there for one of Atlético Madrid’s greatest eras. Do you think that will be a factor that will help you settle into a team that is used to winning?

I have always been fortunate enough to have seen my dreams come true and turn my objectives into realities. From now on, my aim is to win every trophy at stake next season. Why not aspire to winning all six?

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What do you think of the new hooped Barça shirt?

I am aware of how important a shirt is for a team and all of its supporters around the world. I am very proud that one of those shirts will have my name printed on the back. I am sure that the new design will bring plenty of luck.

Do you know the city of Barcelona, and do you like it?

I love Barcelona. I was born in Istanbul, close to the sea. And from now on I will be lucky enough to be able to wake up every day near to the sea once again. But the most important way to feel comfortable in a city is to be successful in it. And I’m sure that will be the case.

Do you know any of the players in your new team?

Ivan Rakitic, because I often speak to him after games.

It means a lot to me to form part of Barça
Messi is simply the best player ever
I’m dreaming of winning all six trophies this season

Arda Turan, the ball boy who saw Luis Enrique find the net

Arda Turan, ball boy at Galatasaray v Adanaspor, celebrating a Hagi goal
The new blaugrana has particular memories of Barça’s game against Galatasaray in the Ali Sami Yen stadium from March 2002

The blaugranes won 1-0 thanks to a solitary goal from Luis Enrique

In Turkey they call him ‘koca kafa’ (bighead), affectionately of course. Arda Turan is a reference point for the Turkish fans and one the key figures in the current Turkey side. The man who is Barça’s latest signing has had football in his blood since he was a youngster and he has plenty of experience in the Champions League. His first contact with Europe’s premier club competition came when he featured as a ball boy at the Ali Sami Yen stadium, Galatasaray’s infamous ground, during his time in the youth teams at the club.

Arda and Barça’s paths crossed on 19 March 2002 when the Istanbul club and the blaugranes met in the group stage of that season’s Champions League. That night FC Barcelona won thanks to the only goal of the game scored by none other than Luis Enrique.

The current Barça coach made the most of a loose ball following a save by Mondragón to score in the 58th minute.

One of the ball boys for that game was a 15 year old Arda who after the game went off in search of a keepsake from the Barça players. The French defender Christanval gave him some gloves at the end of the game. The gloves still have a place in the Turan family home in the neighbourhood of Bayrampasa in Istanbul amongst memories of Arda’s time as a Galatasaray ball boy.

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