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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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Are rich clubs bigger threats in the Champions League or the transfer market? de Ligt, de Jong and the CB crisis [TBPod109]

Are rich clubs bigger threats in the Champions League or the transfer market? de Ligt, de Jong and the CB crisis [TBPod109]

On episode 109 of  The Barcelona Podcast ,  Dan  is joined by guest co-host  Emma Gabriel-Garcia  to discuss the threat of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain both in the Champions League and on the transfer market. Your hosts move to La Ronda to talk the centre-back crisis, Paco Alcacer, the approach against Sevilla  and much more! Running Order: What gives Manchester City an advantage in the transfer market? What would Matthijs de Ligt bring to Barcelona? What makes Frenkie de Jong a generational talent? How should Barcelona deal with the injuries at CB? What should Ernesto Valverde do against Sevilla? 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 subscr

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La Masia: Alejandro Orellana

La Masia: Alejandro Orellana

Born in Gav à on the southwest coast of Barcelona, Alejandro Orellana grew up about 20 minutes from La Masia. Stops at local club EF  Gav à from 2008 to 2012 and Espanyol from 2012 to 2014 led the defensive midfielder to La Masia in the summer of 2014. He made his mark with the Cadet A squad and earned a promotion to the Juvenil B team in 2016. Alongside Riqui Puig, Mateu Morey and Sergio Gómez, Orellana's calm, intelligence and ability to control a game finally began to get him noticed. He made the jump to Juvenil A last summer under Francisco Javier García Pimienta and is now honing his craft under 36-year-old Denis Silva. The youngster has been on the Spanish youth international radar for a few years now, making his U-17 debut as a 16-year-old in March of 2017 under Santi Denia. He appeared in two U-17 Euro qualifiers, starting against Greece, before taking on a larger role for the tournament. After logging 21 minutes as a substitute against Turkey in the opening group stag

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Why Luis Suarez replacement must be a priority for Barcelona

Why Luis Suarez replacement must be a priority for Barcelona

Barcelona were absolutely right to buy Luis Suarez back in the summer of 2014 for €82 million. The Uruguayan striker had been a key protagonist at Liverpool, scoring 82 goals in 133 appearances and, perhaps more importantly, earning a place in the hearts of Red fans across the world. Joining Barça had always been a dream for Suarez. From his early days at Ajax, El Pistolero had his sights set on a move to the Camp Nou and worked hard throughout his career to earn his well-deserved transfer to the Catalan capital. From the very moment he landed in Barcelona, Suarez understood that collective success was always going to be dependent on establishing an understanding with Messi and if needed, compromise his own positioning and individual achievements. Four years on, Suarez is certainly a key reason why Barcelona have added 12 titles, including one Champions League and three La Liga titles, to the Camp Nou museum since his arrival. Our friends at RedBet believe the streak will co

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Is Valverde’s focus towards the Champions League hurting the club in La Liga?

Is Valverde’s focus towards the Champions League hurting the club in La Liga?

By guest contributor Soham Banerjee ( @IamSohamB ). FC Barcelona's recent run of form and Ernesto Valverde's substitution and rotation decisions were discussed on the latest edition of The Barcelona Podcast: As a football fan, you would be surprised to see the La Liga table. None of the big three- Barcelona, Atletico or Real Madrid have risen above the rest. A series of poor performances from the clubs have helped the Andalusians, Sevilla FC to take the top spot. Throwing light on the performances on display by the Blaugrana, it is difficult to assess on which direction the club may be heading this season. To the surprise of all football fans, Barça haven’t won a single game in their last four encounters in the La Liga. Is it mere complacency or something more? Since the 2-2 draw against their Catalan neighbors Girona, the club doesn't seem to have the cutting edge to see the game off and get the required result. There may be a couple of factors to this. First

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Is there concern over Ernesto Valverde's handling of the squad? Substitutions, Rotations and Arturo Vidal [TBPod108]

Is there concern over Ernesto Valverde's handling of the squad? Substitutions, Rotations and Arturo Vidal [TBPod108]

On episode 108 of  The Barcelona Podcast ,  Dan  is joined by Patrick of  FCB Dublin  to consider the level of concern regarding Ernesto Valverde's handling of the squad this season. Your hosts move to La Ronda to talk transfers, rotations, Arturo Vidal's recent behavior  and much more! Running Order: How has Valverde utilized his substitutes? Why are big teams struggling to start the season? Should Valverde be exploring other formations? What player and position is most likely to come in January? Is Arturo Vidal's recent behavior merited? 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. Ways to subscribe to The Barcelona Podcast: -  Click here to subscribe via Apple Podcasts -  Click here to subscribe via Spotify

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Ivan Rakitić, Ballon d'Or nominee and Barcelona's underappreciated midfielder

Ivan Rakitić, Ballon d'Or nominee and Barcelona's underappreciated midfielder

By guest contributor Emile Avanessian ( @hardwoodhype ). Between the departure of Xavi following the 2014-15 season and that of Andrés Iniesta this past spring, FC Barcelona suffered losses in midfield in three calendar years on par with arguably any team in the history of club football. In terms of technical skill, institutional knowledge and a preternatural understanding of time and space, this duo forever sits at the pinnacle of the game. To lose one such maestro is a significant blow. To lose two, in relatively quick succession, one would assume, would be crippling. Barcelona carried on domestically in the aftermath of Xavi’s departure, winning two La Liga titles (and finishing three points shy of a third, with a league-best goal difference, by a margin of fourteen goals) and all three Copa del Rey trophies. Given the monumental void in the middle of the pitch, positive results have continued to pile up, and the fact that trophies continue to find their way to the Camp

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La Masia: Ilaix Moriba

La Masia: Ilaix Moriba

There has been a growing unpleasantness festering in the minds of Culés as La Masia continues to have its quality ravaged as some of the most promising academy prospects sign larger contracts elsewhere. Just in the last few weeks, 17-year-old midfielder Adrián Bernabé made his Manchester City first team debut under Pep Guardiola in the EFL Cup and 16-year-old forward Pablo Moreno scored for Juventus in the UEFA Youth League. Alongside Man City's academy players' player of the year last season 17-year-old centre-back Eric García, Monaco's Jordi Mboula and Borussia Dortmund's Sergio Gómez, the exodus of talent from Catalonia has certainly left a bad taste in a lot of mouths. Yet, it should be remembered that there is tons of talent still in the fabled academy, and while the other big clubs will come calling again, Barcelona do have some say in the futures of these prospects. The latest tug-of-war between Barcelona and Manchester City is over 15-year-old Ilaix Moriba

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Can Messi's Champions League form take Barcelona to the trophy this season? Arthur's magic and Busquets' reliability [TBPod107]

Can Messi's Champions League form take Barcelona to the trophy this season? Arthur's magic and Busquets' reliability [TBPod107]

On episode 107 of  The Barcelona Podcast ,  Dan  is joined by journalist  Rik Sharma  to break down the good and the concerning from Barcelona's 4-2 win over Tottenham. Your hosts talk Lionel Messi's brilliance, Arthur's magic in midfield, the reliability of Sergio Busquets and much more! Running Order: Is Messi's Champions League focus enough for Barcelona to win it all? How does Arthur's performance affect the team's future plans? What would Barcelona do without Sergio Busquets? Where is the best place for Ousmane Dembele? How should Ernesto Valverde rotate Arturo Vidal and Malcom? 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. Ways to subscribe to The Barcelona Podcast: -  Click here to subscribe via Apple Podcas

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La Masia: Chumi

La Masia: Chumi

Not since Marc Bartra has a La Masia centre-back broken into the first team. He did so in an era of quality youngsters at the position including Marc Muniesa, Sergi Gómez and Andreu Fontás, all still current professionals at Girona, Sevilla and Sporting Kansas City respectively. It seems that between Jorge Cuenca, Óscar Mingueza, Chumi and newly signed Ronald Araújo, there is a new crop of talents in the middle of defense that each have a shot at a future at the Camp Nou. Cuenca and Araújo were brought directly to Barcelona B while the Catalan Mingueza has been with the club since the U-7s. Chumi meanwhile made the jump as a 15-year-old and was quickly tabbed as a talent more advanced than other players his age. Juan Brandáriz was born in A Laracha, just about a twenty minute car ride to A Coruña, on March 2, 1999. Due to the proximity to A Coruña, it should be no surprise that the youngster affectionately nicknamed 'Chumi' by his father was brought into Deportivo La Coru

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TOP 5 Barca: Busquets renews, new badge, Valverde's message and more!

TOP 5 Barca: Busquets renews, new badge, Valverde's message and more!

Sergio Busquets renews There will come a time when Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets won't be taking the field at the Camp Nou, but Sergio Busquets has made sure that Culés will have their midfield rock for a while longer. Barcelona's second captain has made 490 appearances for the first team over the last 11 seasons and at that rate he would be just behind Xavi, Iniesta and Messi when his new contract runs out in June 2023. If any other team attempts the impossible task of acquiring his services, it will cost 500 million euros, up from 200 million during his last deal. Barcelona's New Badge For the tenth time in their history, a history that dates back to 1899, FC Barcelona are changing their club badge. The current badge has survived since 2002. Change is always met with resistance and this time is no different as seven total changes are being made to the new crest. Ernesto Valverde delivers forceful message Valverde doesn't have the reputation of a disci

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