Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal can finally make their debuts for the Catalonia club almost six months after agreeing to join
It probably felt like the final insult to Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal that, after five months of waiting to play for their new club, Barcelona, they would have to wait a weekend longer.
Barca’s FIFA sanction officially ended on Friday but, with New Year’s Day being the Spanish equivalent of a bank holiday, it meant that the club had to wait until Monday to register their two summer signings.
For Luis Enrique, who barely used his uninspiring bench options as his side dropped two points against city rivals Espanyol on Saturday, this would no doubt have been an immense frustration.
While Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal the guys who will be the subject of most headlines there are 75 other players who have been registered as Barcelona players for the first time this morning.
Many of them are new signings, youngsters picked up by the club but unable to officially sign on the dotted line as La Masia players until today. For the select few, some of those whose arrivals had triggered FIFA’s investigation and subsequent ban in the first place, it signals the first day of the rest of their life.
Korean pair Lee Seung Woo and Paik Ho have both been registered – although Lee must wait two more days until his 18th birthday – as their nightmare finally turns into the dream they were promised when they move to Spain.
Some of those involved in the FIFA case have left the club, the likes of Japanese starlet Takefusa Kubo and American Ben Lederman, but for those who have stuck out the last year today will be a particularly sweet day.
There are also a raft of further additions to the clubs ranks further down the youth system, including the signing of Eidur Gudjohnsen’s son, Daniel, and Fluminense winger Robert Goncalves.