La Masia: Pablo Páez

The Cadet A team has gotten plenty of attention, but Cadet B also has some pretty talented midfielders. Since arriving from Real Betis, Pablo Páez has been one of the more frequently talked about players at the Alevín, Infantil and Cadet levels in La Masia.

Born August 5, 2004 in Los Palacios y Villafranca, Spain, Pablo Páez Gavira was discovered by Real Betis at an early age. He progressed well through the ranks and got some time with Infantil B before swapping his green and white for azulgrana. His start at La Masia got off to a difficult start, as Barcelona couldn't register him and he had to wait until January to get things started. Almost as soon as he started playing for Barcelona's Alevín A, the 11-year-old scored a goal and broke his nose.

A broken nose couldn't keep "Gavi", as he is nicknamed by his friends, from quickly becoming one of the gems of La Masia. As a member of Infantil B, he first gained attention at the La Liga Promises tournament in December of 2016 by scoring two goals against Real Madrid to reach the final. The team would go on to beat Atlético Madrid 6-1 in that final.

It wasn't just Gavi who put himself on the map at that tournament in 2016. Teammates Xavi Planas and Toni Caravaca shared a three-way tie for most goals and captain Adrià Capdevila was named the Player of the Tournament. Alongside Aleix Garrido and Capdevila in midfield, Páez has slowly transitioned from a traditional "10" with plenty of goalscoring ability to more of an interior midfield role, all the while keeping his shot-making skills.

The right-footed midfielder won the MVP of the Bassevelde Cup in June of 2017 to close out his Infantil B career. With Infantil A the next season, Gavi and his teammates had notable battles with Espanyol, even falling to their rivals in the Mediterranean International Cup (MIC) in 2018.

Now the core of the Cadet B squad, Gavi, Capdevila and the rest are progressing well and being rewarded for their positive development. Páez was selected alongside Alejandro Ramos, Diego Almeida, Juan Larios and Ángel Alarcon for the Spain U-15s in November. The 14-year-old also received his Cadet A debut in December in a 1-0 defeat to Gimnástic. He is years away from thinking about being a professional, but Gavi is certainly on the right path.