FC Barcelona become World Champions with 9 home grown players in starting line up
La Masia, FC Barcelona’s football school, dominated Club World Cup. Barça won the final against Santos with 9 home grown players in starting line up. Three home grown players also the scorers: Messi, Xavi and Cesc Fàbregas.
Barcelona (FCB).- Barça won the Club World Cup in Japan last Sunday with nine of the starting eleven players being the product of the Club’s academy system –a great confirmation of the Club’s commitment to its home grown players. What’s more, all the goals were scored by players from La Masia –Leo Messi, Xavi Hernández and Cesc Fàbregas, who dominated the middle alongside the three other Masia graduates, Iniesta, Thiago and Busquets.
A team which bore the stamp of his commitment to the youngsters at La Masia took the Club World Cup in Japan. It seemed a way to mark the opening of the new La Masia, the FC Barcelona’s new training centre in Sant Joan Despí, (in Barcelona Metropolitan Area), which is dedicated to Oriol Tort. Of the final’s starting 11 players, only Abidal and Alves have not been groomed at the FC Barcelona, with Valdés, Piqué, Puyol, Busquets, Thiago, Xavi, Fàbregas, Iniesta and Messi representing La Masia, as well as five more graduates –Oier, Cuenca, Dos Santos, Fontàs and Pedro– on the bench. This meant that 14 of the 22 man squad for the FIFA Club World Cup final have come up through the FC Barcelona’s youth sides.
In the semi final of the competition, Barça started against Al-Sadd with 6 La Masia graduates, who were joined by Isaac Cuenca in the second half after Alexis Sánchez was forced off.
Second World title for many
For most of the players who have come up through the ranks, this is the second time they have won this title, having been involved in the 2009 triumph against the Argentinean team Estudiantes. Cesc Fàbregas, Thiago, Cuenca and Oier were not in the squad then, but Jonathan Dos Santos did travel to the competition, though he didn’t actually get on the pitch.
Seven home grown players in 2009 and 2011 UCL finals
The belief shown in the FC Barcelona’s youngsters in big games has been a constant under Guardiola, with Barça winning both the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals against Manchester United with seven home grown players in the starting line up, plus Pedro coming on in Rome and Puyol at Wembley.