Turan: Barça is my dream club, so I had a good reason to be patient
The Turkish midfielder agreed to join the Catalans from Atletico Madrid in July 2015, having helped the Rojiblancos lift the La Liga title a year earlier.
However, due to a transfer ban placed on Barcelona, preventing them from registering any new signings for 14 months, Turan was forced to wait until January 2016 to officially make his Blaugrana bow against Granada.
Speaking exclusively in the June 2016 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, Turan reveals that he found a simple way to deal with the disruption.
“When I felt any doubt, I just thought about my childhood, because Barça is my dream club," he says. "To wear this shirt, to become friends with Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar… I had good motivation to be patient.
Barça is my dream club. To wear this shirt, to become friends with Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar… I had good motivation to be patient
“I have been playing 40 to 50 games every season for a long time, so I spared some time just for myself. There were a couple of books I’d been meaning to read, and Luis Enrique sometimes gave me three or four days off to get out and learn the city. There were a couple of downsides to my situation but I turned them into positives.”
The 89-cap Turkey international - and captain - also admits that training with his new side is more fun than the sessions under Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone, although Turan insists the Argentine taskmaster taught him a lot.
I used to think defending was all about chasing the other team’s full-back for 90 minutes, but he taught me the importance of the core, and helped me to improve the positional aspect of my game
“I learned so much from Simeone," he says. "I used to think defending was all about chasing the other team’s full-back for 90 minutes, but he taught me the importance of the core, and helped me to improve the positional aspect of my game. His style was more defensive and strict, so training was much heavier.
“Luis Enrique has a different approach. We always use the ball at training, even when we’re working on conditioning.
"He wants us to always be comfortable with the ball at our feet. It’s more fun!”
Read the full interview with Arda Turan in the June 2016 issue of FourFourTwo magazine. A European Championship special, we chat exclusively to Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley and Harry Kane about whether this could finally be England’s year, hear from Ashley Williams, Joe Ledley and Ben Davies on the Dragons’ aims in France, speak to Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Wes Hoolahan about the Boys in Green’s ambitions, and get the inside track on Northern Ireland from Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley, Chris Baird and manager Michael O’Neill. If that’s not enough, we go One-on-One with Gary McAllister, recount the best and most bonkers clashes between the five sides from the British Isles and map out each of England’s penalty shootout kicks since 1990 (you’re welcome). And we haven’t even mentioned our separate 68-page Euro 2016 preview guide yet, featuring even more interviews and everything you need to know about this summer’s extravaganza across the Channel. Order this month's bumper issue here, then subscribe!