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16.04.2008 13:18

Youth team products

Jesús Carrillo

When FC Barcelona take on RCD Espanyol this weekend in Camp Nou, two of the three teams with the most youth team products in their first team squads will be playing each other.

The matches between the Blaugrana and the Blanc i Blau wil be a special occasion for Catalan football as both sides contain a number of homegrown stars. Víctor Valdés, Carles Puyol, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Giovani Dos Santos and Bojan Krkic could all appear for Barça while Daniel Jarque, Marc Torrejón, David García, Moisés Hurtado and Raúl Tamudo, among others, will be among Espanyol's ranks.

The Athletic way

Athletic Bilbao traditionally comprise their entire squad of players from the Basque Country region and have the most homegrown players as a result with names such as Amorebieta, Aranzubia, Ustaritz, Javier Casas, Luis Prieto, Garmendia, Iraola, Martínez, Pablo Orbaiz, Yeste, Susaeta, Llorente and Aduriz all in their current squad.

Barça and Espanyol

espfcb12.jpgGradually, the two Barcelona-based teams are also bringing through more and more local youngsters. Espanyol adopted the idea after some economic problems in the 1990's. Ernesto Valverde now has a host of local players to choose from including David García, Jarque, Torrejón, Hurtado, Javi Chica, Ángel, Albert Serrán, Ferrán Corominas and Jonathan Soriano.

esp-fcb1.jpgTamudo, Alberto Lopo, Enrique de Lucas and Toni Soldevilla have also risen through the ranks and made themselves familiar names. Barça also use their youth teams when possible and have all the players mentioned above in the squad this season, along with Albert Jorquera and Oleguer Presas.

On the other side

The current Espanyol squad also contains some players that came up through the youth ranks at Barcelona, including Rufete, Moha and Iván De la Peña. In recent seasons Barça starlets to have made their names aand moved on to other clubs include Thiago Motta, Gabri, Pepe Reina and Luis García.
Youth team products
More to come
Bojan Krkic and Giovani Dos Santos maybe the latest youth team products at Barcelona to make headlines with the first team, but there are plenty of others about to follow suit with Víctor Sánchez, Víctor Vázquez, Pedrito, Gay, Thiago Alcántara, Marc Valiente, Albert Botía and Jeffren Suárez al having made their debuts at the highest level and are now waiting for another chance.

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