August 31, 2017 / 8:08 PM / a year ago

Soccer - Barcelona misfit Douglas loaned out to Benfica

(Reuters) - Barcelona announced on Thursday they have agreed a one-year loan deal with Portuguese champions Benfica for Brazilian right back Douglas, who is widely regarded as one of the worst signings the Liga club have made in recent years.

FILE PHOTO: Barcelona's new soccer player Douglas holds on to a ball during his presentation at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona August 29, 2014. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino/File Photo

The Catalans turned heads when they signed Douglas for four million euros in 2014 when he could not hold down a regular place with Brazilian side Sao Paulo, and the doubters were ultimately proved right as he played a grand total of 102 league minutes for Barca in the next three years.

The Brazilian had a better run while on loan last season at Sporting Gijon, making 21 starts with the Liga strugglers and scoring three times, although he was unable to prevent them from being relegated.

Although he increased his medal collection in winning seven major trophies with Barca, Douglas has gone down in history as one of the club’s most baffling signings.

His transfer has also caused plenty of embarrassment for Barcelona’s board of directors, who turned down the chance to sign Spanish attacking sensation Marco Asensio for only 500,000 euros more than the Brazilian cost them.

According to Asensio’s agent Horacio Gaggioli, Barca were reluctant to pay Mallorca 4.5 million euros for the winger, who subsequently joined arch-rivals Real Madrid and has developed into one of the most exciting players in European football.

Reporting by Richard Martin,; Editing by Neville Dalton

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