Signed in order to strengthen the squad on the left-hand side of the pitch (left back, left midfield and left wing), Adriano Correia has shown his versatility by occupying three more positions since he joined Barça in the summer of 2010: right back, right wing and central defender. Against Real Madrid last Sunday he played in the heart of the Barça defence for the first time and acquitted himself very well. Two-footed and with pace
Adriano’s versatility was one of the reasons that led to him coming to the Club in the summer of 2010, Sandro Rosell’s first signing as Club president. He’s comfortable with both feet and it was already known that he was able play at left back, left midfield and left wing as well as at right back. He was used on a number of occasions at right back by Josep Guardiola.
But his appearance in the heart of the defence against Real Madrid, where he paired up with Mascherano, was a complete surprise. Tito explained that his pace was vital to stop Benzema, Di María and Ronaldo. The best of all is that he has consistently performed at a high standard.
Gabri and Luis Enrique: a similar record
His versatility is reminiscent of two players from a few years ago; Gabri and Luis Enrique. Gabri played on both sides of the pitch in defence and midfield while Luis Enrique ended up playing in just about every position on the pitch, only missing out on central defence and the goal.
The fifth reconverted central defender
Adriano is not the only player to have filled in at centre back over the past few years. Since Guardiola became manager, four players have been reconverted into central defenders for the first time in their playing careers. Touré Yaya, Mascherano, Busquets and Abidal all followed the same path as Adriano on Sunday. And they’ve all met the challenge magnificently.