Barcelona B – Oh god, there’s more.

 

 

Isaac Cuenca, Rodrigo Tello, Jonathan Dos Santos, just a few of the players who have made the step up from the famous ‘la masia’ to Barcelona (should we call them the ‘A’ side?). Inevitably, there’s more to come. On a trip to Barcelona on the weekend, the B team were calling my name, not because of the €6 tickets, obviously, and there were a few players who I feel will make the step up sooner rather than later:

Gerard Deulofeu – 18

Some may have heard a lot about this one, he was linked with loans/permanent deals to Liverpool and QPR this summer, and you can certainly see why. Before Friday night, I had never seen him play, only hearing good things, but a hat trick from the wing in a 4 – 5 game (told you they were calling my name), showed that he should be lining up in the Camp Nou on a regular basis in the near future. He is not what I would call your typical Barcelona winger, blessed with nowhere near the pace of someone like Tello or Pedro, he actually struggled to beat a man all game, but with his movement, his technical ability, and his astounding eye for a goal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ENkcQcV2kY), he surely has an exciting future ahead of him.  Whether a move to these shores at this stage in his career would be right for all parties involved is debatable, but if he was available, he would certainly be worth a go.

Rafinha – 19

The younger brother of ThiagoAlcantra, another famous graduate from the B team, many Barcelona fans believe him to be of better quality than his brother.A central midfielder with a cultured left foot, and great dribbling ability from the middle of the park (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHKq7NGzLIg), he would seem to be a natural born replacement for the likes of Andres Iniesta in the coming years. His drive from midfield, along with his decent physical presence, when thinking of Barcelona midfielders anyway, is also a definite plus. To my knowledge, his first team involvement so far has been a short outing from the bench in a cup game, and a starting role in the B teams 4 -0 demolition of the champions league team Bate Borisov at the Camp Nou.

Jean Marie Dongou – 17

He may have only made his debut for the B team in January, but he has already been likened to one Lionel Messi, no pressure then! The same build as Mr Messi, he has great raw power (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRvoRFxclgQ) for such a young player, and a goal in this game showed off his poaching abilities too. He may be a bit too young to feature in the first team at the moment, but definitely one for the future.

Alejandro Grimaldo – 16

This is my wildcard pick, as I don’t really know anything about him, but judging by this game, I think he could be a player. He came on at half time because of a red card, and immediately showed great composure on the ball, as well as lung-busting runs forward (likened to Gareth Bale here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_0oDmWYYhs)from left back. At only 16 years old, he should only get better, and with a few more years in the B team, he could make the transition up to the first team.

With the free channel ‘BarcaTv’ on the TV at the apartment (who needs sunshine, anyway), you could see that from the 9 year olds and upwards, they play exactly the same way to the higher teams, a frightening prospect for all, as it seems they will just keep churning out talents.

There may have been other players more worthy of featuring in this list, but from an outsider, these 4 were my picks from the game I saw, and what a pleasure it was to see it!

Matthew Morlidge

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