Depay loves tattoos and has a tiger’s face across his back in honour of his grandfather, who died just before his 15th birthday.
FC Barcelona and Memphis Depay have reached an agreement for the player to join the Spanish club, following the end of his contract with Olympique Lyonnais. The player will sign a contract until the end of the 2022/23 season. Depay is the 16th Dutchman to wear the Blaugrana jersey since the turn of the century and the fourth new signing to the squad this summer. He represents the third player signed on a free transfer by the Spanish club after Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia who were signed from English club Manchester City. This will be the fourth different league that Depay has competed in. In the current Barcelona squad, only Philippe Coutinho and Martin Braithwaite have played in that many, and nobody has played in more. The footballer is currently representing the Netherlands in Euro 2020, where they are unbeaten so far. Depay has been a key performer in the ongoing edition.
“It’s literally a dream come true for me to join the biggest club in the world, with the greatest fans. I’m so excited to play in front of a full stadium. Barca fans are obviously very special, the way they live the game, experience the game, and they love football so much. I want to thank the whole board of Barcelona and the president and the coach for making the deal happen. Together with my team they reached a final agreement so I’m very excited about it, and proud. I’m going to do everything, give everything for the club. So, I’m ready. Visca el Barca!,” he said as quoted by FC Barcelona’s official website.
Fans are certainly excited about the prospect of witnessing the exciting footballer in action in the upcoming season, considering the words of praise and appreciation from manager Ronald Koeman. The Spanish club lacked game-changers who could be expected to go out and make the difference in the recently concluded season. Depay certainly fills the gap in this regard having scored 20 goals in the previous season for Lyon. He further delivered 12 assists in his last season in France. The footballer’s best season so far as a goalscorer was in the Dutch league in 2014/15, which is his highest-scoring season to date. While these aspects about his journey as a footballer are certainly out in the open, there are definitely things that fans may or may not know about the Barcelona player:
1) Day he was born: Memphis Depay was born in Moordrecht (Netherlands) on 13 February 1994. Barcelona suffered an infamous 6-3 defeat at Zaragoza that day. Manager Ronald Koeman was in the team that day. Interestingly, another Dutchman, Johan Cruyff, would end up leading the team to the title on the final day. Depay played his first Eredivisie game on 26 February 2012 against Feyenoord, managed at the time by Koeman. It will be interesting to see if Depay can make amends with a glorious win on his birthday, during his stint at Barcelona.
2) First goal on professional debut for PSV Eindhoven: Depay made his professional debut on 21 September 2011 in a Cup game against VV Sint Bavo. He scored the first goal of the game, which is an indication of his confidence even on debut. Fans will certainly be confident about his composure on big occasions, considering this.
3) Illustrious company: Depay was named young player of the year in Holland as a 21-year-old in 2015. The award has been previously won by Richard Witschge (1989), Marc Overmars (1992), Patrick Kluivert (1995) and Frenkie de Jong (2018). All of these players went on to play for Barcelona. Depay is immensely popular as confirmed by Kitbag, a website specialising in sportswear in 2015. The organisation announced that its three best-selling shirts were those of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and the Netherlands footballer himself.
4) Five different shirt numbers: Depay wore 22 on the day of his debut and in his first seasons at PSV, and later switched to 7, which he also wore in Manchester. He started initially with 9 in Lyon. The Netherlands footballer then went from number 11 to number 10. Depay has been coached by a number of managers at these clubs, with some of them enjoying a connection to Barcelona. Phillip Cocu (PSV, 2012 and 2013-15), Louis Van Gaal (Manchester United, 2015-17), Ronald Koeman (Holland, 2018-20) and Frank de Boer (Holland, 2020-present) represent those men.
5) Love for Tattoos: Depay loves tattoos. He has a tiger’s face across his back in honour of his grandfather, who died just before his 15th birthday. The Netherlands footballer further dedicated a goal to his grandfather at the 2014 World Cup. This is an indication of Depay’s loyalty and affection for those close to him, which is something a footballer like Lionel Messi will definitely appreciate. It will be interesting to see the two footballers link up at FC Barcelona.