- The 30-year-old Brazilian right-back, who is currently with Besiktas, is best remembered for his strange time with the Blaugrana.
Douglas, a player that Barcelona fans would not recall fondly, had an almost flawless strike rate of eight games and seven trophies.
The Brazilian right-back, who is now 30 and plays for Besiktas, is best known for his bizarre spell with the Blaugrana, which began in 2014 when he moved from Sao Paolo.
Douglas was a Barcelona player until 2019, but he only appeared in three Liga games during that period and spent the remaining three years of his five-year deal on loan.
Supporters are confused as to how his transfer to Barca came about in the first place. He hadn’t quite tore it up in Serie A, and while he had been a member of the Brazil team that reached the final of the 2009 Under-20 World Cup, he was 24 years old by the time he transferred to Camp Nou – not a youthful prospect in professional football terms.
Douglas entered Barca for €4 million (£3.5 million/$5 million) and €1.5 million (£1.3 million/$2 million) in add-ons, this may be a sign. He was a cheap addition to Luis Enrique’s team.
Douglas made his La Liga debut for Barcelona against Malaga, and he held a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw. His personal success, on the other hand, was less than stellar. Douglas was described as clearly losing confidence and having particularly negative body language in early reports.
The lowest point came when he received a yellow card for a needless tackle on Malaga midfielder Duda, a 34-year-old with no pace who was facing goal.
Douglas rushed in with a weak and off-balance tackle, throwing up a free-kick and receiving a needless booking. It signalled the start of the end.
Douglas on his Barcelona carrier;
IN BARCELONA I HAD SOME TOUGH TIMES WITH INJURIES. I’D COME HOME AND CRIYING EVERYDAY
Other aspects of his debut were equally poor. Full-backs at Barca are supposed to act as a supplementary attacking outlet, especially against notably weaker opponents such as Malaga. Yet in that game, Douglas passed the ball backwards 31 times.
He was clearly not up to the required level and became Barca’s third-choice right-back, behind Dani Alves and Martin Montoya, and was restricted to making occasional Copa del Rey appearances and the odd cameo in other competitions.
In total across his first two seasons at Barca, before his loan adventures commenced, Douglas played in eight games for the club – almost as many trophies as they earned during that period.
Barcelona secured the treble in 2014-15, started the next season with the UEFA Super Cup, and went on to win the domestic double and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2015-16.
However, though Barca’s dream move became a nightmare, Douglas’ dream move became a nightmare.
He confessed to AS in a 2016 interview that he was regularly reduced to tears because he was out of his depth and endured persistent niggling injuries – he had four different periods on the recovery table in his first season there.
Douglas was consigned to an everlasting loan spiral away from Barcelona from year three onwards, though sources say he did not go down without a struggle. After all, he was a member of one of the best club teams in history, with Lionel Messi, Xavi, Neymar, and Andres Iniesta among his teammates.
He originally declined to sign the paperwork approving his loan to Sporting Gijon, instead staging a sit-in strike in the club’s offices and refusing to leave, according to Sport, before finally agreeing to the move.
In his AS interview, Douglas refuted these statements, saying, “It wasn’t correct at all.” It was just an overworked muscle that needed to be massaged. The next day, I was studying, and it was written that I was hurt though I wasn’t. That makes me sad.”
Following his time with Sporting, he spent a year as a backup at Benfica before becoming a main player with Sivasspor. Douglas finally transferred to Besiktas from Camp Nou in the summer of 2019.
Injuries hit again after the Super Lig giants started off in the first team frame. After October 2019, he was limited to just 58 minutes of first-team play due to broken ankle ligaments and a thigh muscle rupture.
For 2020-21 he is not even registered in the Besiktas squad, with reports in Turkey indicating that he will be released when his contract expires this summer.