Who is Yusuf Demir? The ‘Austrian Messi’ signed by Barcelona

Martin Macdonald
Yusuf Demir signs for Barcelona

Barcelona completed the signing of Austrian wonderkid Yusuf Demir on loan from Rapid Vienna with the option to buy earlier this summer.

The 18 year old has subsequently been part of the Blaugrana squad for their pre-season friendlies ahead of the new La Liga campaign and even scored against Stuttgart at the weekend.

Demir made his debut for Rapid Vienna side at the end of 2019 and has since gone on to become a regular member of the senior team, 25 appearances in the 2020/21 campaign.

The Austrian giants weren't able to keep hold of the 18-year-old for long, though, as he has now moved to Catalunya after Barcelona beat off competition from several other teams for his signature.

What position does Yusuf Demir play in?

Demir predominantly plays as an attacking midfielder but can also play in the centre-forward position, with a few rare starts on the wings, too.

He is left footed and one of his heroes is apparently Lionel Messi, so the inevitably unfair comparisons have already started, with Demir also a talented dribbler as well as goalscorer.

Who is Yusuf Demir? The ‘Austrian Messi’ wanted by Barcelona, Bayern and Man City

Who is Yusuf Demir? The ‘Austrian Messi’ wanted by Barcelona, Bayern and Man City

Even his agent Emre Ozturk compared him to Messi, telling SPOX: “Yussi is very creative, dribbling well and has a great left foot. His technique and vision are outstanding. The way he plays he is reminiscent of Messi.”

Rapid Vienna legend Steffen Hofmann, meanwhile, called Demir “extraordinary”.

“He has incredible potential,” he told LAOLA.

“It is a great pleasure to watch him play football.

“In every training session you can see from the first second what an extraordinary player he is. I have never seen a player like him at this age.”

When asking how good a young player is, any comparison to Messi will make others stand up and take notice, and although this will certainly heap pressure on Demir’s young shoulders, if provides an insight at least to what brand of player he is.

What clubs are interested in Yusuf Demir?

Barcelona have already signed Demir. He will join initially on a season-long loan deal, with the Blaugrana having the option to sign him for €10 million.

As a self-confessed fan of Messi, Demir’s link to Barca was always going to come, and the Blaugrana have used this to ther advantage to eventually sign the player, according to ESPN.

Over the past couple of years, Barcelona have been planning for the future by picking up some of Europe’s hottest young properties like Francisco Trincao, Pedri and Ronald Araujo.

The Catalan side are, of course, in a terrible state financially and will not be spending large amounts on players this summer.

Most of their purchases in the off-season have been free transfers, though they are even struggling to register the likes of Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero due to their wage bill which needs to be slashed.

New president Joan Laporta was previously given a dossier on Demir at the end of the season.

Other clubs previously interested were Manchester United, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

Demir’s mentor Hofmann was previously a product of Bayern’s youth academy and allegedly still has contacts at the Allianz Arena.

When does Yusuf Demir’s contract expire?

Demir recently signed a new contract until 2023 with Rapid Vienna, as the club ensured they will not lose him for free if Barcelona do not sign him permanently.

What is Yusuf Demir’s Instagram?

Demir’s Instagram account has 42k followers as of July 2021.

Who is Yusuf Demir’s girlfriend?

Demir is not currently dating anyone publicly.