By Sam Marsden, Barcelona correspondent
Few can beat Colombia defender Yerry Mina in the air but he picked the wrong battle when he first arrived at Barcelona.
Mina, who joined the Catalan club from Palmeiras in January, decided a good way to settle in would be to take on Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at set pieces — he was even willing to put money on it.
However, a few months later, he realised that all he was doing was funding their shopping trips.
“When I first arrived, to help build a rapport [with my new teammates], I started betting with Messi and Suarez,” Mina revealed in an interview with Bocas magazine.
“The bet was to see who could take the best free-kicks in training, but every day I was losing €50.
“Soon I was like: ‘I’m paying for these guys to go shopping!’ I had to laugh. Those guys are monsters, they put the ball where they want and they’re great people as well as magicians.”
Mina’s betting days with Messi and Suarez may be over if he leaves Barca this summer.
Everton and Manchester United have both been linked with the centre-back, who scored three goals for Colombia at the World Cup, and he admits he doesn’t know what the future holds for him.
“I have no idea at the moment but I’m relaxed about it,” he added. “I’m 23 years old and I have a lot of football left in me.”