When Rayo Vallecano got the better of Barcelona at Camp Nou last week, the cameras were on one man: Stole Dimitrievski. The North Macedonian international stole the show by denying the Catalans repeatedly, eventually leading his side to three points.
On Monday, he made four saves including two from inside the bix. He recorded three punches, two high claims and five clearances. It goes without saying that he was the man of the match at Camp Nou.
It was not the first time the shot-stopper raised his performance against Barcelona. When the two teams met earlier this season, he saved Memphis Depay’s second-half penalty to give his side the win.
In an interview with Mozzart Sport, Dimitrievski revealed that he was close to joining Barcelona in January.
“In January I agreed to personal terms with Barcelona. Everything was agreed. All that remained was to sign contracts, but everything collapsed because of Neto. He did not want to leave Barcelona.”
The 28-year-old has been a vital part of Rayo’s plans this season, keeping eight clean sheets in 26 starts. He has saved two penalties and averages a whopping three saves per ninety minutes.
It is surprising that Neto turned down the chance to leave Barcelona given that he has had a minimal role under Xavi Hernandez.
The Brazilian only started the opening two league games for the team when ter Stegen was out injured. In those 180 minutes, he let the ball past him three times.