During his third season in Spain's La Liga, Arda Turan, the Turkish winger of Atletico Madrid, was praised by Spanish pundits for his performance against Barcelona, the recent champions of the Spanish division.
Many prestigious newspapers in Spain including El Pais and El Mundo drew an analogy between the Turkish winger and the famous US boxer Muhammad Ali since Turkish international Arda wore a t-shirt bearing Muhammad Ali's pictures while in training at Atletico's training grounds.
El Pais wrote that Arda saw Muhammad Ali as a role model similar to other muslim players. They reported that Arda recalled the famous boxer's quote "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee" with his performance during the match against Barcelona. The daily added that the Turkish footballer was getting stronger physically and is becoming a player that makes a difference in critical games.
Another Spanish newspaper El Mundo described Arda as a "genius" and wrote that Atletico Madrid were much better when Arda was on the pitch. El Mundo also said that Arda wanted to take on more responsibility during the play and they described him as the main actor in Atletico's offensive plays with his passes and ball control.
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