Barcelona may have unearthed the next Messi as 15-year-old wonderkid called up by Xavi

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“That’s why the likes of Gavi, Nico [Gonzalez] or the veterans like [Sergio] Busquets or [Gerard] Pique are important. We are seeing that players who are 17 or 18 can make a difference.”

Two years ago, Barca made a concerted effort to produce more players from their academy having seen its influence on the first team wane. The club’s head of youth development, Xavi Vilajoana, said at the time: “We, at least on my part, have an obsession to improve our players and make them grow here. 

“The [first-team signings] that can be considered are very specific – who can improve what we have here at home? But for us it is key to work with the people from the academy.

“Personally, and on the Board’s part, we believe in [the academy] a lot. Barcelona’s future first team must come from La Masia.”



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