Andoni Zubizarreta has claimed that he thought Douglas was “Barcelona quality” upon signing him from Sao Paulo two years ago.
Questions were asked when Barca shelled out €5.5m to sign Douglas in the summer of 2014, the right-back not having been a first choice for Sao Paulo or a Brazil international, but Zubizarreta insists the player was solely bought with the future in mind.
“We didn’t sign Douglas with the intention that he’d win the Champions League for us,” the Catalans’ former sporting director told Ara.
“If you consider everything which has happened to Douglas, he’s surprised by the noise created around him.
“We thought he was Barca quality and, for what we paid, he was worth it.
“It can’t be that we’re criticised for signing a finished product in Luis Suarez and one who isn’t [in Douglas].
“We signed Douglas like we signed Denis Suarez and [Alen] Halilovic, It seemed that he had potential.
“He was signed to add to the squad and as someone we could develop. How far [can he go]? We’ll see. At no other club does such a debate occur.
“[On Thomas Vermaelen], I said he’d immediately recover his performance levels when he returned [from injury], and he didn’t need time to adapt when he did play.”