Table of Contents
- 25. ALEX GRIMALDO
- 24. DANI OLMO
- 23. NAYIM
- 22. LUIS GARCIA
- 21. ANDRE ONANA
- 20. ALBERT FERRER
- 19. PEPE REINA
- 18. GUILLERMO AMOR
- 17. HECTOR BELLERIN
- 16. SERGI
- 15. THIAGO MOTTA
- 14. IVAN DE LA PENA
- 13. ADAMA TRAORE
- 12. MIKEL ARTETA
- 11. VICTOR VALDES
- 10. PEDRO
- 9. MAURO ICARDI
- 8. GERARD PIQUE
- 7. SERGIO BUSQUETS
- 6. CESC FABREGAS
- 5. PEP GUARDIOLA
- 4. CARLES PUYOL
- 3. ANDRES INIESTA
- 2. XAVI
- 1. LIONEL MESSI
IN 1979, Barcelona determined they wished a gentle stream of homegrown abilities to at some point blossom of their first staff.
They launched their now famed La Masia (Catalan for ‘The Farmhouse’), a state-of-the-art academy designed to coach children the Barça way, and has since produced a slew of top-class footballers.
Lionel Messi (within the masks), Cesc Fabregas (again row, second proper) and Gerard Pique (again row, third left) are Barcelona youth merchandiseCredit score: PA:Press Affiliation
They have been schooled at Barcelona’s well-known La Masia AcademyCredit score: Simon Jones – The Solar
Many have gone on to grow to be legends on the membership, whereas others have slipped away and grown at pastures new.
Listed below are their finest 25 finest academy trainees.
25. ALEX GRIMALDO
The Spanish left-back is likely one of the most sought-after defenders in world soccer in the mean time.
At present starring at Benfica, he has been linked with a transfer to Tottenham.
Barcelona let him go for £1.5million in 2015, with out enjoying a recreation within the first staff.
Initially, he was plucked from Valence in 2008 – spending 4 years with the Catalans till he was offered.
Alex Grimaldo has made his title at BenficaCredit score: Getty Photos – Getty
24. DANI OLMO
Olmo is the newest promising teen that left Spain for a brand new problem.
The Spanish 21-year-old midfielder, who moved in January 2020 to Bundesliga club RB Leipzig, arrived at La Masia aged simply 9.
However in a shocking transfer, Olmo determined to go away Barça when he turned 16 and signed for Dinamo Zagreb.
Barcelona have been rumoured to be taking a look at bringing him again to Catalonia earlier than he moved to Germany.
He has since moved to RB Leipzig and is an everyday within the Spain squad.
Dani Olmo gambled together with his profession leaving Barcelona aged 16 for Dinamo ZagrebCredit score: Getty Photos – Getty
Arsenal followers will not wish to be reminded of Nayim’s most well-known second in his profession.
However earlier than he was lobbing David Seaman from the midway line, he was a younger hopeful at La Masia.
He joined Barcelona aged 12 – leaving his hometown Cueta.
However his possibilities have been restricted in a staff that was managed by Terry Venables.
He later joined the previous Three Lions boss at Spurs.
Former La Masia product Nayim scored the winner the Cup Winners’ Cup remaining in opposition to ArsenalCredit score: PA:Empics Sport
22. LUIS GARCIA
The previous Liverpool midfielder had two spells with Barcelona.
First as a 12-year-old youth participant, the place he starred of their reserve staff.
However having failed to interrupt into the primary staff, he was offered to Atletico Madrid in 2002.
Nevertheless, after impressing with Atletico, Barcelona exercised a clause in Garcia’s contract to purchase him again a season later.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez moved for the playmaker in 2004 – having had him at Tenerife on mortgage in 2000-01.
Luis Garcia had two spells at Barcelona however by no means made the gradeCredit score: PA:Empics Sport
21. ANDRE ONANA
One other shock, in-demand Ajax keeper Andre Onana had a spell at Barcelona from 2010-15.
He joined the membership after beginning out on the Samuel Eto’o Academy, however did not make the grade there.
5 years in the past he signed for the Dutch giants, and has since grow to be their No1.
In-demand Andre Onana had 5 years at La Masia earlier than shifting to AjaxCredit score: Getty Photos – Getty
20. ALBERT FERRER
It was right-back Ferrer’s dream to play for Barcelona – having grown up within the metropolis.
And he appeared in 221 La Liga video games throughout 9 seasons together with his boyhood membership, after he was signed as a 13-year-old.
In 1998 he moved to Premier League with Chelsea in a £2.2m deal, the place he retired aged 33.
Albert Ferrer was an area lad who received to signify his boyhood membershipCredit score: PA:Empics Sport
19. PEPE REINA
The son of former Barcelona goalkeeper Miguel Reina, Pepe was at all times destined to observe in his father’s footsteps.
He joined La Masia in 1995, and from 1999 he was enjoying for his or her reserve facet within the third tier of the Spanish soccer pyramid.
Reina was by no means greater than an understudy on the Camp Nou, and was advised he might depart in 2002.
Pepe Reina was surplus to necessities to Barcelona in 2002 after being an understudy for yearsCredit score: Getty Photos – Getty
18. GUILLERMO AMOR
Benidorm-born Amor turned considered one of Barcelona’s most essential gamers below Cruyff within the Nineties.
He joined La Masia in 1980 – successful 5 league titles and a European Cup.
With Barcelona in his blood, it’s unsurprising he’s now liable for the membership’s youth system.
Former youth product Amor now manages Barcelona’s youth set-upCredit score: PA:Empics Sport
17. HECTOR BELLERIN
The Arsenal full-back may communicate like a cockney, however he is Barcelona by way of and thru.
Bellerin was additionally eight when he joined the membership – however after eight years at La Masia he moved to the Gunners.
Now vice-captain of the Premier League giants, Bellerin has been linked with a transfer again to Spain.
Might he observe within the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas earlier than him and return to the membership the place all of it started?
Hector Bellerin left Barcelona for Arsenal and has performed in opposition to his outdated facet a number of occasionsCredit score: PA:Press Affiliation
The marauding Spanish left-back joined Barcelona in 1988, and went on to grow to be a membership legend – showing 382 occasions and successful three league titles.
He was handed his Barça debut by Cruyff in a heated Champions League match away at Galatasaray
From then on, he turned a mainstay earlier than he was offered to Atletico Madrid. He hadn’t misplaced that nastiness that made him a tough participant to play in opposition to both – incomes 33 yellow playing cards in his three seasons there.
Sergi received three La Liga titles after coming by way of La MasiaCredit score: Icon Sport – Getty
15. THIAGO MOTTA
Barcelona by no means actually noticed one of the best of Motta.
Like Pedro, he was signed late – aged 17 from native facet Clube Atlético Juventus – and was assigned to the B facet.
He made his debut in 2001, however his time at Barcelona was robbed from him by a severe knee harm.
Finally, he discovered himself at Inter Milan, the place Jose Mourinho received one of the best out of him – successful the Champions League in 2010.
Thiago Motta by no means fulfilled his potential at BarçaCredit score: Getty Photos – Getty
14. IVAN DE LA PENA
The hype round De La Pena, nicknamed “Little Buddha”, was immense when he was a teen.
The kid prodigy joined La Masia in 1991 from Racing Santander and initially regarded to have a giant future on the membership.
However fallouts with Cruyff and Van Gaal, who have been pissed off together with his work-rate, noticed his progress curtailed and he had extra success with metropolis rivals Espanyol.
De La Pena had fallouts with Johan Cruyff and Louis Van GaalCredit score: PA:Empics Sport
13. ADAMA TRAORE
Final season, Wolves winger Traore has finally shown the potential Barcelona youth managers believed he had.
He joined the Spanish champions aged simply eight, making his debut aged 17, however failed to interrupt into the primary staff below managers Gerard Martino and Luis Enrique.
The speedy winger then moved to England, and had an ill-fated spell at Aston Villa earlier than rediscovering his potential at Middlesbrough.
Adama Traore moved to England to get first staff soccerCredit score: Getty Photos – Getty
12. MIKEL ARTETA
The Arsenal supervisor is finest identified for his time within the Premier League enjoying for each the Gunners and Everton.
However earlier than he made it in England, Arteta dreamt of changing into professional in San Sebastian enjoying soccer on the seashores with childhood buddy Xabi Alonso.
He joined Barcelona aged 15, however struggled to interrupt into the primary staff – becoming a member of PSG on mortgage earlier than starring at Glasgow Rangers and returning to play for Actual Sociedad with Alonso.
Mikel Arteta struggled to interrupt into the Barcelona first staff
11. VICTOR VALDES
Valdes is considered probably the greatest goalkeepers within the membership’s historical past – having performed 535 video games and successful 21 main titles, together with La Liga six occasions and three Champions League’s.
However it regarded like his time on the membership had come to an finish in 1995 when his household moved to Tenerife.
Nevertheless, Barça re-signed him and rapidly progressed by way of the youth groups – making his debut aged 20.
Victor Valdes left La Masia academy solely to return three years laterCredit score: Getty Photos – Getty
The ex-Chelsea winger was a late-comer when it got here to becoming a member of La Masia.
Pedro arrived from Canary Islands staff CD San Isidro aged 17 in 2004.
However quickly, he turned a key member of the primary staff as soon as he was promoted by Pep Guardiola.
Within the 2018-19 season Pedro turned the primary participant to attain in six totally different membership competitions throughout a single season and in the identical yr.
Pedro was a late-comer to La Masia, becoming a member of aged 17Credit score: PA:Empics Sport
9. MAURO ICARDI
Argentina striker Icardi had a spell at La Masia from 2008-11, after rejecting overtures from Actual Madrid, Arsenal and Liverpool.
However the purpose poacher failed to indicate his class in Spain and was shipped out on mortgage to Sampdoria in 2011, which turned a everlasting transfer six months later for simply £400,000.
He has since grow to be one of the sought-after strikers in European soccer, boasting a outstanding goalscoring document.
Icardi at all times stood by his choice to go away Barça, as a result of it finally benefitted his profession.
Tremendous poacher Mauro Icardi did not impress at La MasiaCredit score: FC Barcelona
8. GERARD PIQUE
One other one which received away, however returned to grow to be a hero.
Pique performed in the identical youth groups as Messi and Fabregas from 1997, though he was deployed as a defensive midfielder in his early years.
Manchester United snapped him up in 2004 on a pro-contract, with out having to pay a price.
In 2008, he returned to Catalonia for a price of £5million and has gone on to play 531 occasions for the membership, in addition to bag a celeb spouse in Shakira.
Pique returned to Barcelona after a spell at Man Utd and bagged a celeb missus in ShakiraCredit score: Getty Photos – Getty
7. SERGIO BUSQUETS
One-club man Busquets has grow to be one of many best defensive midfielders of his technology.
At youth degree although he bounced round a number of groups enjoying for the likes of Badia, Barbera Andalucia, Lleida, and Jàbac Terrassa, earlier than settling at Barcelona in 2005,
Guardiola promoted Busquets to his first staff in 2008, but it surely’s his former worldwide supervisor Vincente Del Bosque who offered this correct quote about his talents.
He stated: “In the event you watch the entire recreation, you will not see Busquets – however watch Busquets, and you will note the entire recreation.”
Sergio Busquets has established himself as one of the best defensive midfielder of his technologyCredit score: PA:Empics Sport
6. CESC FABREGAS
Fabregas trained at La Masia for six years earlier than making the daring transfer to Arsenal in 2003, believing his possibilities can be restricted on the Nou Camp.
With the Gunners he quickly established himself into one of many Europe’s most promising gamers – changing Patrick Vieira within the coronary heart of their midfield, earlier than finally being named captain.
In 2011 he returned to Barcelona for £35m, and in three seasons performed 96 occasions for them earlier than shifting to Chelsea for £30m in 2014.
Cesc received the World Cup and the Euros twice, and has been capped 110 occasions by Spain.
Fabregas returned to Barcelona after making his title at ArsenalCredit score: Motion Photos – Reuters
5. PEP GUARDIOLA
Johan Cruyff referred to as him probably the greatest midfielders of his technology, and it is onerous to argue with that seeing he was a significant affect in enjoying model of the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas.
Guardiola joined La Masia at 13, and inside six years the deep-lying playmaker made his debut in opposition to Cadiz.
In 1998 Louis van Gaal made him captain, however in 2001 he left for Serie A facet Brescia after years of harm issues with a difficult calf.
Pep Guardiola turned Barcelona captain after making it by way of their youth ranksCredit score: Getty Photos – Getty
4. CARLES PUYOL
Arguably probably the most un-Barcelona-like participant.
However Puyol became a cult hero as an inspirational captain together with his uncompromising model of defending.
He joined La Masia in 1995, enjoying as a defensive midfielder earlier than changing to full-back after which centre-half.
However Puyol nearly left the membership three years later when Barça accepted a suggestion from Malaga after deeming him surplus to necessities.
Nevertheless, seeing Xavi getting an opportunity within the first staff inspired Puyol to remain, and the remainder is historical past.
Puyol turned a cult determine at Barcelona however practically left the membershipCredit score: PA:Empics Sport
3. ANDRES INIESTA
Plucked from Albacete on the age of 12, Iniesta by no means regarded again.
He steadily climbed up the youth ranks, making his debut aged 18 in 2002.
Iniesta would go on to grow to be probably the most embellished Spanish footballer in historical past – successful 35 trophies, together with 9 LaLiga titles and 4 Champions Leagues.
Famously, he helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup – scoring the winner in opposition to Holland.
Iniesta joined La Masia as a 12-year-oldCredit score: Rex Options
The best playmaker of his technology, and the embodiment of their tiki-taka passing model, Xavi joined La Masia at 10.
At that age although it wasn’t Michael Laudrup he idolised, however actually British-based stars like John Barnes, Paul Gascoigne, and Matt Le Tissier.
“I have been fortunate sufficient to be introduced up on the Barcelona ethos,” he as soon as revealed.
“Which has taught me the worth of being a part of a staff. ‘At this time for you, tomorrow for me.’ These qualities are important for all times generally.”
Xavi idolised Paul Gascoigne, Matt Le Tissier and John Barnes rising upCredit score: PA:Empics Sport
1. LIONEL MESSI
Doubtless one of the best teen to come back from Barcelona’s youth set-up, and the best to ever play for the club.
Messi joined the LaLiga giants in 2001 from Newell’s Previous Boys in Argentina, who he had skilled with for the reason that age of six.
Realising that they had such a prodigious expertise on their palms, Barcelona agreed to pay for his therapy after he was identified with a development hormone deficiency.
Nevertheless, this season is perhaps his final – with Manchester Metropolis determined to deliver Messi to the Premier League.
Messi graduated from La Masia to grow to be Barcelona’s best ever participantCredit score: Getty Photos – Getty