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La Masia: Anssumane Fati

La Masia: Anssumane Fati

There are so many factors that can derail a young career. A year lost due to injury, a failed change of position; there are a ton of different issues that can turn a future superstar into an amateur footballer. On the other hand, some players deal with adversity with great success and look like can't-miss prospects from day one. A good example of the latter is Juvenil A's Anssumane Fati, who has gone from younger brother of a player with potential to one of the brightest talents in not just La Masia, but all of youth football. Anssumane Fati, Ansu for short, was born October 31, 2002 in Guinea-Bissau. His family moved to Herrera, Seville just a few days after his birth and his older brother Braima was soon discovered by Sevilla. While Braimi played for Sevilla's youth teams, Ansu started his career with Escuela de Fútbol Peloteros Sevilla. Sevilla brought Ansu to join his brother three years later and before long the Fati boys were being scouted by Barcelona. The du

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What is Philippe Coutinho's best position? Juan Miranda's development and Jasper Cillessen [TBPod117]

What is Philippe Coutinho's best position? Juan Miranda's development and Jasper Cillessen [TBPod117]

On episode 117 of  The Barcelona Podcast ,  Dan  is joined by  Alex Truica  to discuss Philippe Coutinho's best position for Barcelona. Then your hosts answer the tough questions in La Ronda, including the situations of Juan Miranda, Jasper Cillessen and the potential opponents for the UCL knockout rounds! Running Order: What is Philippe Coutinho's best position for Barcelona? What should be Juan Miranda's role with the first team? What should the club do about Jasper Cillessen? Does the club have an issue with all the leaks regarding Ousmane Dembelé? Who would you like to play and who would you like to avoid in the Champions League knockout rounds? Listen on  Apple Podcasts iOS App ,  Spotify  and, if you want to support the show, head over to  Patreon  for more content! 🏅 Become a Patreon to support the show - Thank you! 🗣️ Access our exclusive, listeners-only Facebook Group here. Follow us on  Instagram ! Ways to subscribe to

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Has Barcelona caught the injury bug this season?

Has Barcelona caught the injury bug this season?

By guest contributor Soham Banerjee ( @IamSohamB ). Injuries have led to a number of lackluster performances by Ernesto Valverde's men this season and it has been quite a few months since the manager dealt with the tough selection decisions that he would have with a healthy squad. In the engine of FC Barcelona, the midfield, there have been a number of injuries and rotations that have affected the team's continuity on both sides of the ball. Over the last few weeks, there has been a feeling every time a player comes back healthy, two more hit the medical table. Denis Suárez and Carles Aleñá started the season on the shelf, Lionel Messi was forced to miss El Clásico, Luis Suárez, Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic, Thomas Vermaelen, Marc-André ter Stegen, Jasper Cillessen and most recently Arthur have all spent time rehabbing injuries this season with varying lengths of absence. At the moment, Malcom, Rafinha, Sergi Samper and Samuel Umtiti are all still on the sideline. F

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La Masia: Álex Rico

La Masia: Álex Rico

After weeks of profiling some of La Masia's greatest talents, many of which were midfielders, it's hard to believe that Barcelona have so many exciting prospects in the middle of the park. Yet, at every level in the academy there are precocious teenagers making major leaps in their developments as they progress through the ranks. Stuck between two squads with a number of highly talented youngsters in the Juvenil A and Cadet A teams, the current Juvenil B squad gets a little overlooked at the moment. Nico González would be with the team if he hadn't skipped that level entirely while Ilaix Moriba didn't last long this season before his promotion to Juvenil A. If anything, the progress of those two has allowed for even more opportunities for the likes of Brian Peña, Marc Doménech and Álex Rico. Of the three, Rico is the first to make his Juvenil A debut and it's not hard to see why. Born January 25, 2002 in nearby Lleida, Álex Rico Pico got his start at a very

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Does Ernesto Valverde handle youth players properly? Carles Aleñá and the La Masia pipeline [TBPod116]

Does Ernesto Valverde handle youth players properly? Carles Aleñá and the La Masia pipeline [TBPod116]

On episode 116 of  The Barcelona Podcast ,  Dan  is joined by  Kevin Williams  to discuss Carles Aleñá's breakthrough against Villarreal and Ernesto Valverde's handling of youth players. Then they tackle La Ronda to talk Philippe Coutinho's form, Valverde's future and much more! Running Order: Has Ernesto Valverde handled Carles Ale ñá properly? How does the manager handle La Masia products compared to young signings outside of the club? Should Barcelona go forward with going after Frenkie de Jong or Adrien Rabiot? Why do signings struggle finding their place at Barcelona in general? What is Philippe Coutinho's best position for Barcelona? What is Valverde's future at the club? Check out the Barcelona Football Blog:  here . Listen on  Apple Podcasts iOS App ,  Spotify  and, if you want to support the show, head over to  Patreon  for more content! 🏅 Become a Patreon to support the show - Thank you! 🗣️ Access our exclusive,

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La Masia: Txus Alba

La Masia: Txus Alba

The relationship between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol is a complicated one, a rivalry strengthened by location, well-fought derbies, the accusations of political allegiances and most surprisingly, the arms race of Catalan youth into their fabled academies. Only a small fraction of players that come through La Masia make it as professionals and that percentage of prospects lessens for Espanyol and CF Damm, the other major youth program in the city of Barcelona. 15-year-old Txus Alba has already made stops at all three, going from discard to gem seemingly overnight and currently finding himself in the highly competitive Cadet A squad at La Masia. Jesús "Txus" Alba Ramos was born on March 31, 2003 in Barcelona and began his development in 2010 at the Escola del RCD Espanyol. After four seasons with Espanyol, the midfielder moved on to Damm. It is ignorantly assumed that Damm is the place players go when they can't make the grade in La Masia or Espanyol, but Damm can b

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Does Ousmane Dembélé have a clutch gene? Euan McTear and 500 for Sergio Busquets [TBPod115]

Does Ousmane Dembélé have a clutch gene? Euan McTear and 500 for Sergio Busquets [TBPod115]

On episode 115 of  The Barcelona Podcast ,  Dan  is joined by  Euan McTear  to discuss Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid and the contrast of the two styles. Then the duo move to La Ronda to talk injuries, Sergio Busquets' 500th appearance and much more! Running Order: Should Barcelona bring back Marc Cucurella from Eibar? How does the 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid affect La Liga? How does Ernesto Valverde's style compare with Diego Simeone's style? Does Ousmane Dembélé have a clutch gene? How will we remember Sergio Busquets? Euan McTear's Camp Nou Tifo Football Video:  here . Listen on  Apple Podcasts iOS App ,  Spotify  and, if you want to support the show, head over to  Patreon  for more content! 🏅 Become a Patreon to support the show - Thank you! 🗣️ Access our exclusive, listeners-only Facebook Group here. Follow us on  Instagram ! Ways to subscribe to The Barcelona Podcast: -  Click here to subscribe via Ap

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La Masia: Nico González

La Masia: Nico González

The pressure of being the son of a footballer is oftentimes too much for a youngster. It's even harder for the children when their fathers were club legends. Such is the case with 16-year-old Nicolás González, son of Deportivo La Coruña legend Fran González. Fran made 380 official appearances for the team that would become Súper Dépor, winning two Copa del Rey trophies, three Super Cups and a La Liga title as the left midfielder of the famous side. The elder González may not have been a Ballon d'Or contender, scoring just 35 official goals for the club, but he was a good enough player to make the Spain squad for Euro 2000 after scoring two goals in qualifying. Three years before Fran concluded his playing career at Deportivo, his son Nicolás was born on January 3, 2002. Nico soon took up his father's game, sometimes accompanying his father to training and joining local A Coruña side Montañeros before moving on to La Masia. It was a slow integration to life in Catal

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What makes Lionel Messi special on and off the field? Andy West and Ousmane Dembélé drama [TBPod114]

What makes Lionel Messi special on and off the field? Andy West and Ousmane Dembélé drama [TBPod114]

On episode 114 of  The Barcelona Podcast ,  Dan  is joined by  Andy West  to discuss his new book ' Lionel Messi and the Art of Living ' and the legacy of the Barcelona legend. T hen  Emile Avanessian  joins the show to help out with La Ronda, talking the futures of Carles Aleñá, Oriol Busquets, Denis Suárez and much more! Running Order: What about Messi off the pitch sets him apart from other footballers? How has Messi navigated different coaches and positions over the years?  How does Messi's international legacy differ from his club one? What is Ousmane Dembélé's relationship with his teammates? What's next for Carles Aleñá in his Barcelona career? Listen on  Apple Podcasts iOS App ,  Spotify  and, if you want to support the show, head over to  Patreon  for more content! 🏅 Become a Patreon to support the show - Thank you! 🗣️ Access our exclusive, listeners-only Facebook Group here. Follow us on  Instagram ! Ways to subscri

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Femení top Atlético, Tighten Race at the Top

Femení top Atlético, Tighten Race at the Top

Photo Courtesy: fcbarcelona.com Toni Duggan didn't start against Atlético Madrid, but her winner in the 91st minute earned the kind of result that could propel Barcelona Femení to another level this season. Down 1-0 after a 56th minute header from Kenti Robles, manager Fran Sánchez struck gold with his substitutes. Aitana Bonmatí came on alongside Alexia Putellas in response to the goal and Aitana rewarded the manager's faith by scoring the equalizer in the 65th minute. The 20-year-old Spanish midfielder from the local town of Sant Pere de Ribes intercepted a pass on the right wing and curled in a shot past Atlético keeper Dolores Gallardo. Liverpool-born Duggan checked in for Natasa Andonova in the 67th minute and helped Barcelona continue to flip the switch and take the game to their opposition. After controlling much of the game prior to the equalizer, Madrid were pushed back on their heels and found themselves much more spread out with the inclusion of the fresh legs.

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La Masia: Monchu

La Masia: Monchu

Competition is tight in the crowded Barcelona B midfield as Francisco Javier García Pimienta works to groom the future maestros that will make their names at the Camp Nou. Youngest among them (one month younger than Riqui Puig) is 19-year-old Monchu. A player with the ability to slot in at all three midfield spots in Barcelona's 4-3-3, Monchu shouldn't be forgotten amongst his talented peers. Born Ramón Rodríguez Jiménez on September 13, 1999 in Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the island of Mallorca, the boy nicknamed "Monchu" started his club career with local team CIDE. He was noticed by the largest club on the island RCD Mallorca, where he played until making the move to La Masia to join the Infantil A squad in 2012. The player has expressed his gratitude for others that welcomed him to the club with open arms and he has allows vowed to do the same. He is often seen around the likes of Juan Miranda, Mateu Morey, Nils Mortimer and Antonio Jesús. He made hi

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Have Barcelona lost their identity? Quiqué Setien and Ousmane Dembélé [TBPod113]

Have Barcelona lost their identity? Quiqué Setien and Ousmane Dembélé [TBPod113]

On episode 113 of  The Barcelona Podcast ,  Dan  and guest co-host  Mike Miller  from  Le Blaugrana Podast  discuss Barcelona's struggles against Real Betis and why the loss is a notable one. In an extended edition of La Ronda, your hosts talk the rise of Quiqué Setien, the situation surrounding Ousmane Dembélé and much more! Running Order: How did Real Betis best Barcelona at their own game? Does  Quiqué Setien deserve the reputation he now has at Betis?  What would  Quiqué Setien look like in charge of Barcelona? What can Barcelona do about Ousmane Dembélé? How should Ernesto Valverde decide between Sergi Roberto and Nelson Semedo? Listen on  Apple Podcasts iOS App ,  Spotify  and, if you want to support the show, head over to  Patreon  for more content! 🏅 Become a Patreon to support the show - Thank you! 🗣️ Access our exclusive, listeners-only Facebook Group here. Follow us on  Instagram ! Ways to subscribe to The Barcelona Podca

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La Masia: Nils Mortimer

La Masia: Nils Mortimer

The best indication of which La Masia prospects will rise to the top are those that are regularly called up to and play with the age group above their own. Already profiled Ilaix Moriba and Alejandro Orellana (who made his debut with the Barcelona B squad last weekend) are two examples in the midfield, and 17-year-old Nils Mortimer is a forward who has traversed a similar path. Mortimer was born on June 11, 2001 in Málaga, Spain. After discovering his love of football on a beach as a youngster, his mother Rocio knew his future should be with a team. His first club at the age of four was local Andalusian side, La Mosca. Instead of getting picked up by Málaga, he was discovered by Sevilla and spent one year making the two and a half hour trip between the two cities. The distance would prove to be too demanding for the youngster, and he joined Málaga's youth academy. He reached the Infantil A level at Málaga before making the move to La Masia. Since his arrival in Catalonia, h

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Is La Liga deeper than ever? Barcelona's title rivals and struggling giants [TBPod112]

Is La Liga deeper than ever? Barcelona's title rivals and struggling giants [TBPod112]

On episode 112 of  The Barcelona Podcast ,  Dan  and   Robbie Dunne  discuss the depth in La Liga this season, including Barcelona's difficulties against the bottom of the table, Real Madrid's issues and the interesting season for Real Betis. Your hosts also talk the struggling big clubs like Valencia and Athletic Bilbao, the surprises at the top of the table and much more!   Running Order:   Why are Barcelona struggling against bottom of the table teams like Leganés and Rayo Vallecano?   What's going on at Real Madrid?   Why are Ousmane Dembélé, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos covered the way they are in the media?   What has made Real Betis' season so unpredictable?   Why are Valencia, Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao in a relegation fight?   How concerned should Culés be about Atlético Madrid and Sevilla as title contenders?   How impressive have Espanyol and Alavés been? Robbie Dunne's book, Working Class Heroes: The Story of R

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What's next for Sergi Samper after his latest injury?

What's next for Sergi Samper after his latest injury?

There is a faction of Barcelona fans that believe the team's midfield is at its best when La Masia products are pulling the strings. Adopted sons, like Ivan Rakiti ć  and Seydou Keita, fight for respectability even after they've won Champions League trophies. Yet, there is a need for realism when evaluating which La Masia prospects will one day be part of the small fraction of players with a future in the first team. For example, Sergi Roberto is consistently praised for his perseverance, but had only become a mainstay after multiple years as a fringe player. It is hard to know which players are being patient and which players will unfortunately never make the grade. A player's quality and fit should always be the deciding factors for a player's potential at the club, but, on the rarest occasions, injuries can decide who is worthy. From the time he was 13 years old and maybe even earlier, Sergi Samper was seen as the brightest La Masia gem in his age group. He'

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La Masia: Guillem Jaime

La Masia: Guillem Jaime

Lost in the potential star power of a UEFA Youth League side that included Riqui Puig, Álex Collado and I ñ aki Pe ña was its captain, Guillem Jaime. He may not project to have the ceiling of fellow right-backs Moussa Wagué or Juvenil A's Mateu Morey, but the 19-year-old has been a mainstay at La Masia since the U-7s. Born in nearby Torreforta, a district in the city of Tarragona on January 6, 1999, Guillem Jaime got his start at local club CDC Torreforta. Starting out his career as a winger and quickly jumping to La Masia at the U-7 level, Jaime has been an important player in so many of the most successful youth teams from the last ten years. Not much has been written of a player that has always been a significant piece of his youth teams, whether as a goal-scoring winger for Juvenil B or as a defensive right-back with Barcelona B, he seems to fly under the radar while at times having the captain's armband. Along with a number of his aforementioned teammates, Jaime g

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How much fun was El Clásico? Francesc Tomás and Barcelona's triumph [TBPod111]

How much fun was El Clásico? Francesc Tomás and Barcelona's triumph [TBPod111]

On the 111th edition of  The Barcelona Podcast ,  Dan  and Francesc discuss Barcelona's 5-1 win over Real Madrid in El Clásico. They talk Luis Suárez, Gerard Pique and much more! Running Order: How did Barcelona exploit the left side of the field? How did Ernesto Valverde get his tactics right? What led to Luis Suárez's hat-trick? What does a win in El Clásico mean for the team? What has Francesc been up to? Listen on  Apple Podcasts iOS App ,  Spotify  and, if you want to support the show, head over to  Patreon  for more content! 🏅 Become a Patreon to support the show - Thank you! 🗣️ Access our exclusive, listeners-only Facebook Group here. Follow us on  Instagram ! Ways to subscribe to The Barcelona Podcast: -  Click here to subscribe via Apple Podcasts -  Click here to subscribe via Spotify

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La Masia: Diego López

La Masia: Diego López

Photo courtesy: Noelia Déniz Luis Figo will always be despised for swapping the Blaugrana for Los Blancos back in 2000. Bernd Schuster and Michael Laudrup, two midfielders who also made the move directly, aren't remembered with as much disdain as the Portuguese attacker. Brazilian legend Ronaldo, Samuel Eto'o, Gheorghe Hagi, Javier Saviola, Robert Prosinecki and even current Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui all played for both sides with buffer clubs in the middle. The only notable player to make the move directly from Real Madrid to Barcelona is none other than Luis Enrique, swapping shirts in 1996 on a free transfer. At youth level, it should be no surprise that the two academies try to poach each other's talent and multiple players have made the switch over the years. The chances of players breaking through with either first team is slim regardless, but making the move as a teenager does provide some immunity to the vicious treatment of players viewed as traitors

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What will Barcelona do in Messi's absence? Malcom, Aleña and Valverde's choices [TBPod110]

What will Barcelona do in Messi's absence? Malcom, Aleña and Valverde's choices [TBPod110]

On episode 110 of  The Barcelona Podcast ,  Dan  is joined by guest co-host  Christian of Garden State Blaugrana  to discuss Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde's dilemma during Lionel Messi's injury absence. In La Ronda, your hosts talk the futures of Malcom and Carles Aleña, the importance of Ousmane Dembélé and much more! Running Order: How will Barcelona get results without Lionel Messi? Can Malcom be a solution during Messi's absence? What does Carles Aleña's future hold? Which of Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto should play and when? Is Arthur an undisputed starter? Listen on  Apple Podcasts iOS App ,  Spotify  and, if you want to support the show, head over to  Patreon  for more content! 🏅 Become a Patreon to support the show - Thank you! 🗣️ Access our exclusive, listeners-only Facebook Group here. Follow us on  Instagram ! Ways to subscribe to The Barcelona Podcast: -  Click here to subscribe via Apple Podcasts -  Click he

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La Masia: Fermín López

La Masia: Fermín López

His permanent position in the future may still be unknown, but Cadet A's Fermín López has shown that he knows how to attack. Currently playing in the one of the deepest squads in La Masia, the 15-year-old has adapted to playing both central midfielder spots, left-wing and as an attacking midfielder in a number of formations. Born on May 11, 2003 in El Campillo, Spain, a small town about an hour north of Huelva, Fermín started his football career at local club El Campillo before making the move to Recreativo de Huelva's academy in 2011. A year later he arrived at Real Betis and joined their Benjamín A squad. Four seasons getting an education and consistently being the top scorer in his age group at the Ciudad Deportiva Luis del Sol gave him the confidence to take the leap and join La Masia in the August of 2016. Major clubs were after the attacker, and even after missing out on the La Liga Promises competition with Betis due to chicken pox, Barcelona still trusted that they

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TOP 5 Barca: Neymar reunion, Dutch talents, Ronaldinho and much more!

TOP 5 Barca: Neymar reunion, Dutch talents, Ronaldinho and much more!

Could Neymar return? The international break and the lull in club football always brings sensational rumors, and a potential return to Catalonia for Neymar takes the cake this time around. After the Brazilian's shock move to Paris Saint-Germain now over a year ago, it would certainly be an even bigger shock to see him back in the home locker room at the Camp Nou. The rumor says that Neymar has indicated that he is open to returning to Barcelona and that president Josep Bartomeu met with the current players to confirm that they would be open to the idea. This story might just be a flash in the pan, but it could also be the start of a headline-making saga that would surely capture the imagination. Wanted Dutch talents The two Dutch talents from Ajax are not just on Barcelona's radar. Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong are being tracked by a number of major clubs and their performances during the international break will only raise their price on the transfer market. Th

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