Barcelona's La Masia in crisis as production shows signs of decline

Barcelona supporters have spent the couple of decades boasting about the seemingly endless torrent of talent being carefully nurtured at their renowned La Masia academy. Household names such as Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, all products of the Catalan side's youth system, played a decisive role in the unprecedented collective success that the Camp Nou faithful have been spoiled with in recent years.

Perhaps more importantly, such impressive achievements came as a result of playing beautiful attacking football that generated admiration all around the planet.

However, the last La Masia graduate to truly cement his place at the first team was Sergio Busquets, promoted back in 2008. The likes of Marc Bartra, Sergi Roberto and Rafinha have joined the first team squad since but without fail, they have been assigned to a secondary role and forced to watch their teammates from the bench or, more disappointingly, the stands -- making way for the next big signing on a yearly basis instead.

READ my full "Barcelona's La Masia in relative crisis as production shows signs of decline" for ESPN here.

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