Yerry Mina says Everton’s popularity rating in Colombia is sky high following the capture of poster-boy James Rodriguez – and the Club are the “biggest thing there is” in the South American country.
Everton’s profile initially took off in Mina’s homeland when the centre-back joined from Barcelona in summer 2018.
The personable Mina scored half of Colombia’s six goals at the 2018 World Cup and is a significant figure at home in his own right.
Adoration for James, meanwhile, is off the charts, a product of the forward’s golden World Cup of 2014 and glittering spells with Porto, Monaco and Real Madrid.
He has three goals and seven assists, including two for Mina, from 14 starts since swapping Real Madrid for Everton prior to this campaign.
A far-reaching interview with Mina features in Everton’s matchday programme for Wednesday’s visit of Leicester City.
On the Club’s prominence in his home nation, Mina said: “Everton in Colombia are El maximo.
“The biggest thing there is.
“They are massive.
“We get a feeling how big an impact Everton are making in our country and I am really grateful for that support.
“The word Everton is on everyone’s lips, all the time.
“I chat to family members at home and they’ll tell me, ‘Everton were on television the other day, everyone was talking about how well they are doing, what a big family it is’.
“This support is very important for the team.
“Hopefully, myself and James can carry on doing our little bit for the Club, to make sure we get even more followers, not just in Colombia but around the world.”
Mina headed Everton’s final goal in Sunday’s 3-0 FA Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
The 26-year-old climbed highest to direct a James corner into the net and crown another super individual and collective performance.
He completed 90 minutes in each of Everton’s past seven Premier League games, a period when Carlo Ancelotti’s side claimed 16 points and conceded only four goals.
The upshot of that run is Everton host Leicester in midweek knowing victory will move them into the top four.
Mina was part of a Palmeiras side in Brazil which, in 2016, won the club’s first domestic championship in 22 years.
“I said to my partner the other day, ‘Do you know what, I have that feeling I had at Palmeiras when we started to get on a good run and win stuff’,” said Mina.
“I have the same sensation and emotion I felt in those days.
“It is a repetition.
“We have the same feeling when we go on the field: confidence mixed with a huge desire to win.
“That is what you get when you start playing well and picking up good results.
“I can definitely sense it and let’s hope that is the case.
“But you can’t allow yourself to become overconfident
“It is a good start… but it is something you have to build on.
“You can’t let your guard down at any time.
“You have to play each game as if it’s going to be your last.
“If you go in with that attitude and desire, things keep moving in the right direction.”
Read the full feature interview with Yerry Mina in Everton’s matchday programme for Wednesday night’s meeting with Leicester City.
Another issue packed with exclusive content includes an in-depth interview with Stephen Hughes, the former Everton midfielder, who reflects candidly on 14 months at Goodison Park that didn’t unfold as he’d hoped.
Hughes explains why he retains a deep affection for the Club regardless and talks about a career which scaled the heights as a member of a Double-winning Arsenal team but was nearly ended prematurely due to an illness which threatened to cost the player his leg.
There is fresh news from the Club’s Women, Under-23 and Under-18 teams.
Carlo Ancelotti and Seamus Coleman, meanwhile, beat the printing deadline to write their respective notes directly to supporters following Sunday’s victory over Sheffield Wednesday.