La Masia: Jana Fernández

Born February 18, 2002 in Catalonia, Jana Fernández Velasco was asked at the age of six to choose between jazz and football and she made her choice without looking back. She humbly grew as a player and since arriving at the club, she has constantly exceeded expectations.

She has long been in the picture for the Spanish youth national teams, making her competitive UEFA debut back in February of 2017 with the U-17s in a 22-0 rout of Montenegro. Fernández profiles as an outside-back as a professional, but she has often been used as a centre-back for the U-17s, including in that debut. She made her debut having already gone through the preseason with the B team, and it was no surprise to her coaches that she has the leadership qualities and maturity of a player a few years her senior.

She impressed in 2017 enough as a Juvenil player to make the jump the next season to the B team permanently and get occasional looks from the first team. In her trophy case she can already boast being a member of a squad that took home the Copa Catalunya Femenina in 2018.

This year in particular has been a whirlwind journey for the growth of the young defender. It began last May when she started at right-back for the Spain U-17s in the final of the UEFA U-17 Championship. The match resulted in a 2-0 win for the Spaniards and the first major international trophy for Fernández.

She followed up her first trophy with a call-up to the first team for their preseason tour alongside the men in the United States. The player mentioned how she had grown up watching teammates such as Alexia Putellas and how she had fulfilled a dream. The transition between the youth squads at Barcelona and the first team is made a little easier as she gets to do it alongside teammate and friend, 17-year-old Clàudia Pina, but the intensity of first team training is still something that requires more than youth players are accustomed to.

Her play earned her a spot with the Spain U-17s for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup last December. It was in Uruguay where Fernández collected her second major trophy, starting in a 2-1 win over Mexico in the final with both goals being scored by Pina. Her success at the World Cup led to her Barcelona Femení debut in the Primera División the following week where she came on in the 58th minute in a 7-0 win against Madrid CFF. Just days after her debut, Fernández and Pina were invited to watch Barcelona's men's team take on Tottenham in the Champions League at the Camp Nou and the two were honored at halftime. Alongside Pina, 17-year-old Fernández gives the Femení a glimpse of the future both on the forward line and at the back.