Player Features

The youngest Barcelona players in history

For a club so rich in silverware and winning trophies mercilessly, you’d think Barcelona were exclusively spending big money to achieve such riches.

Whilst recent seasons have seen the trophies become fewer and further between, that rich tradition of allowing young players to make their mark in the first team remains.

Barcelona have blooded in some of football’s greatest players from their academy and continue to do so. 90min lists the 30 youngest players to ever make their debut for the club.

Jose Serratusell spent seven years playing for the Barcelona first team between 1942 and 1949. His debut came just days after his 18th birthday, with a 1-0 defeat against Celta Vigo.

The striker won four trophies in his career but many of his seven years at Barcelona were spent on loan at other clubs.

Roberto Correa, Ilaix Moriba

Ilaix Moriba is no longer at Barcelona / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Guinean-born Spaniard Ilaix Moriba was almost snatched away from Barcelona by interested European heavyweights in January 2019, but he eventually agreed to a new contract.

He later debuted in the Copa del Rey in January 2021, and registered an assist on his league debut some weeks later. He was eventually sold to RB Leipzig, since playing for Valencia and Getafe.

Antonio Garcia was a Spanish forward who was not far away from turning 18 when he made his debut for Barcelona. It came in April 1926 when Barcelona beat Real Zaragoza 3-0.

Garcia actually scored the first goal of the game, making it a successful start to life at the club. He spent four years with Barcelona.

A more modern name, Mario Rosas broke through at Barcelona in 1998 and made his debut in a 4-2 defeat at home to UD Salamanca. Luis Figo was in the starting lineup and Louis van Gaal was the coach.

The game was on the final day of the season and Barcelona were already assured of the title. That would prove to be Rosas’ only La Liga appearance for Barcelona and one of only five for the club overall.

Lluis Pujol made his debut for Barcelona in 1965 against Real Santander, with Barcelona winning 4-0. He bagged two of the goals and would go on to play 90 times for Barcelona, scoring 24 times.

He helped them win the Spanish Cup twice and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup once.

Angel Pedraza made his Barcelona debut in the UEFA Cup against Sliema Wanderers of Malta in 1980. The right-back came on in the second half and they won 2-0.

He would go on to make another 75 appearances for the first team, but the bulk of his career was spent with Mallorca.

Alejandro Balde

Balde’s first game was a tough Champions League assignment / David Ramos/GettyImages

Blessed with incredible pace since childhood, Balde was so much quicker than his schoolmates that the teachers gave the rest of the class a head-start during athletics.

Balde still won every race and blitzed past most opponents in the Spanish top flight even when he was old enough to still be at school. His debut came in September 2021 against Bayern Munich, although it was a 3-0 defeat. He is still playing regularly for the club at left-back.


Pedri is a special player / Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

Pedri is one of those players who looks as though they’ll be operating in the Barcelona midfield for many years to come.

Pedri signed for the club from Las Palmas in 2019 but only made his first team debut in September 2020, during a 4-0 win over Villarreal. He quickly became a vital player and has played a staggering 130+ games for the club despite being 21 years old.


Yes, he’s always been built like The Rock / JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

It’s somewhat hard to believe a player as unpolished as Adama Traore came through the ranks at Barcelona.

He made his debut in 2013 against Granada, but left for England in 2015. His pace and power is second to none, but a lack of end product meant he never quite hit the heights that many expected. He is now at Fulham, having played for Aston Villa, Wolves and Middlesbrough.


Marc Guiu scored on his debut / JOSEP LAGO/GettyImages

One of the newest Barcelona debutants, Marc Guiu’s debut came in October 2023 in a 1-0 win over Athletic Club. He bagged the winning goal with 10 minutes left to play in what was a special moment.

The forward has been used intermittently by Xavi during the 2023/24 season and is closing in on 10 senior appearances. He has grabbed one La Liga goal and one Champions League goal so far.

Gerard Deulofeu Lazaro

Barcelona just couldn’t decide on Deulofeu / Power Sport Images/Getty Images

He’s had a strange career, has Gerard Deulofeu.

He emerged as one of football’s finest prospects in 2011/12, impressed on loan at Everton and was expected to enter Barcelona’s first team in 2014 before being loaned again. He signed for Everton, then returned to Barcelona, but then left again after half a season back at Camp Nou.

His debut was in 2011 against Mallorca, a 5-0 win in which he played around half an hour. He has since played for Sevilla, Watford, AC Milan and Udinese where he currently resides Unfortunately, a serious knee injury may bring a premature end to his career.

Ilias Akhomach

Ilias Akhomach did not make much of an impact / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

The young Ilias Akhomach joined the Barcelona academy in 2017 and managed to make his debut in the 2021/22 season, which was a 1-0 win over city rivals Espanyol.

He would only make two more Barcelona appearances before leaving for Villarreal on a free transfer in July 2023.

Back to black and white football, Alfonso Navarro’s debut was in 1946 as a 17-year-old. Barcelona beat Real Oviedo 2-0, but Navarro did not manage to score.

He would play 60 times for Barcelona, and he also represented Real Madrid five times.

Oriol Riera

Riera was a success in Australia with Western Sydney Wanderers / Tony Feder/Getty Images

Oriol Riera made his Barcelona debut as a fresh-faced 17-year-old in 2003 as a side containing the likes of Ronaldinho, Xavi, Marc Overmars and Ricardo Quaresma beat Ciudad de Murcia 4-0.

Those 13 minutes were all he would play for Barcelona, but Riera played for a series of Spanish clubs, as well as Wigan Athletic and Western Sydney Wanderers before retiring in 2020.

Hector Fort

Barcelona fans have been impressed by Hector Fort / Pedro Salado/GettyImages

One of the 2023/24 gang, Hector Fort has excited fans with his performances at right-back and Xavi gave him his debut in the Champions League against Royal Antwerp, a game that ended 3-2 to the Belgian side.

The 17-year-old is closing in on 10 senior appearances and could be an important player in the coming years if his development goes to plan.

The most historic debutant on the list, Alfonso Albeniz first played for Barcelona in 1902. Details are scarce but they won 3-1 against an early iteration of Real Madrid called Madrid Football Club, who Albeniz would later play for.

Joan Gamper was on the scoresheet.

Athletic de Bilbao's Javi Gonzalez (bott

Nano Macedo spent most of his career away from Barcelona / RAFA RIVAS/Getty Images

Beginning as a defender, Nano looked exciting having played with the reserves at just 16.

He debuted in 1999 against Valencia in a 3-3 draw, but then faded out of the limelight after six Barcelona appearances and made a career out of the Spanish second tier.

Lionel Messi

The ultimate Barcelona debutant / David Ramos/Getty Images

A little Argentinian boy caught the eye of Barcelona when impressing for Newell’s Old Boys as a youth and relocated to Europe aged 13 to sign for the club.

After ripping through Barcelona’s youth and reserve groups, Lionel Messi debuted against Espanyol in October 2004 at the request of the club’s senior players. He went on to score 672 goals for Barcelona and won 35 trophies, cementing himself as perhaps the greatest to ever play the game.

Back to the 1920s, Patricio Arnau debuted in an emphatic 7-3 win at home to Valencia in 1925. He didn’t manage to score, but he did go on to play 90 times for Barcelona who were his only professional club, scoring 23 times.

Marc Muniesa

Stoke-a-lona, good times… / Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Spanish defender Marc Muniesa was developing rapidly in Barcelona’s academy and his progress was prompting interest from within Europe during his teenage years.

Barcelona handed him his debut for the first team with the league wrapped up in May 2009, a 1-0 defeat at home to Osasuna. The away team’s full-backs that day were Nacho Monreal and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Injuries and inconsistencies meant it wasn’t to be at Barcelona, thus the obvious next step in 2013 was a move to Stoke City. He is now playing in Qatar, after a spell in Denmark.

Pablo Paez 'Gavi'

Gavi may be built like a teenager but plays with the dogged stubbornness of a wily veteran / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

Just six weeks after his first Barcelona match, Gavi also became the youngest-ever Spain player. These records were taken off of him by someone else on this list.

Gavi has always been mature beyond his years, asking his parents if he could move in with his teammates who lived permanently at the club’s academy after 12 months in La Masia – the opposite of most players having to overcome homesickness.

His debut was in 2021 and he is now a regular starter when fit under Xavi.

Bojan Krkic

A lot of pressure was put on Bojan / Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

When Bojan broke Messi’s record to become Barcelona’s youngest debutant in September 2007, the hype surrounding him was immense.

A record ten goals in his debut season added to the hype and he was seriously considered ‘the next Messi’. It never truly took off beyond that, though, and after leaving Barcelona for a second time in 2014 to sign for Stoke, it was the end for him as a potential world-beater.

He still had a very solid career, and has since spoken openly about how the hype around him had a negative impact on his time in the game. He retired in March 2023.

Ramon Perera first started for Barcelona in 1926 when they beat Levante 4-1 away from home. He wasn’t able to score and details around the rest of his career remain scarce.

Going back even further, Carlos Galicia made his Barcelona debut having just turned 17 in 1920. The midfielder helped his team beat Real Union Club 1-0.

Inaki Williams, Pau Cubarsi

Pau Cubarsi is getting regular minutes / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

With Barcelona struggling for fit centre-backs in 2023/24, many expected Pau Cubarsi to make the jump up to the first team despite only being 16 years old.

That is what he did against Unionistas in the Copa del Rey. Now 17 years old, he has played 13 times for the seniors and could be set to become an important part of the team.

Anssumane Fati

Ansu Fati struggled with injuries after breaking through / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

It took Barcelona 12 years to find the right person to become their youngest debutant since Bojan, but it happened in 2019 with Ansu Fati.

He looked set to become one of their best players but he suffered a meniscus tear at the start of the 2020/21 season. That led to a series of other injuries on his return and he is now on loan at Brighton.

At 21 years old, there is still time for Fati to put his bad luck behind him.

Three months before his 17th birthday, Vicente Martinez made his Barcelona debut at left-back in a thrilling 4-3 defeat away at Real Madrid.

This was in 1941, and he would live to the grand age of 93. He spent time at Gimnastic de Tarragona and CE Sabadell.

In 1913, a 16-year-old Paulino Alcantara made his debut for Barcelona in a 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad.

He held both Spanish and Philippino citizenship, so spent part of his career for Bohemian in the Philippines before returning to Barcelona.

The man who held the record from 1922 until 2023, a staggering 101 years, Armand Martinez Sagi first represented Barcelona in a 1-1 draw away at Sporting Gijon.

He spent time at two other Spanish clubs before his retirement, but his legacy was secured by playing for Barcelona at the age of 15.

Lamine Yamal

Lamine Yamal was born halfway through 2007 / Eric Alonso/GettyImages

More than a full year younger than Ansu Fati, Lamine Yamal set a new benchmark for juniority in April 2023 that may take some time to beat.

Lamine Yamal was born in 2007, meaning he was born into a world in which the first edition of the iPhone already existed. He has broken numerous records for Barcelona and Spain as the youngest player to do basically anything, and he is still starting regularly for Barcelona in 2023/24, with people having to remind themselves that he is only 16.


Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button