Juan Pablo Sorín last November at Camp Nou / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Chance has led to one of the stars of the last edition of the Revista Barça in February, was none other than Juan Pablo Sorín, a man who has played for both Villarreal and FC Barcelona who meet on Wednesday in the second leg of their Spanish Cup semi-final. The Argentine played for Barça in 2003 before moving on to the ‘Yellow Submarine’ where he enjoyed two successful seasons between the years 2004 and 2006.

“It was a short trial period for me, because it was a six month loan and I took it as an opportunity to play my football, which was attacking in nature, in a team that was not having the best of times,” remembers the former left back. Sorín, remembered for his long hair and goatee beard, arrived in the January transfer window in 2003 to a team who had just appointed a new coach and were dangerously close to the relegation zone.

Little by little, Barça climbed their way up the table and at the end of the season they were able to finish in the UEFA Cup places thanks, in part, to goal from Juan Pablo Sorín in their victory over Celta on the final weekend of the campaign. Nevertheless, the Argentine’s time as a blaugrana was dogged by injury. “I trained here and worked hard at home as well. I spent the day preparing myself for training and matches. Every session with Barça was a pleasure,” confesses the ex-Argentina international.

Settled in Brazil

A year later, now at a new club, he finally tasted success. “At Villarreal I had the fortune to win the battle of Spanish Football so to speak.” Sorín continues: “I didn’t think of it as revenge but as a chance to play more and that great season we put in allowed us to make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League  and almost to a final against Barça.”

This Sunday, Villarreal and Barça meet and ex-player of both teams Juan Pablo Sorín will undoubtedly following from afar, more precisely a from Belo Horizonte where he will be commentating on the Copa Libertadores clash between Cruzeiro and Huracán. The former Argentina national team captain is now a well respected football pundit in Brazil where he works the TV station ESPN.

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