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03.04.2008 13:07

Youth Football Products in Europe

Jesús Carrillo / Berta Brau

Six players who have come through the youth football set up at Barça played in Gelsekirchen. In the rest of the quarter finals the highest number of youth team products in the other sides was two.

The fact that Barça are a club who like to blood players from the youth system is no secret. They proved this very fact in the first leg of their quarter final tie against Schalke 04 as Barça were the club with the most youth team products on the field of the eight clubs that remain in the competition. In Tuesday’s game at the Veltins Arena, the six players in the squad who have come up through the youth ranks at Barça made an appearance.

As many as six

Valdés, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta and Bojan were all in the starting 11. Those five players were on the field together for 85 minutes, and for three minutes, thanks to the appearance of Giovani Dos Santos in the 82nd minute, there were six products of the youth system on the field together at the Veltins Arena. In the 85th minute Bojan was replaced by Sylvinho.

schalke-fcb_01_x1x.jpgSome of the best performances on the night came from those players schooled in the Barça way from an early age: Bojan Krkic, the scorer of the only goal of the game, brought freshness to the side’s strike force and his goal has put Barça in control in the tie. Andrés Iniesta, for his part, provided the pass for Thierry Henry to set up Bojan with the chance that he tucked away past keeper Neuer. Víctor Valdés was another who stood out; his valuable contribution helped Barça keep a clean sheet.

The other matches

stevengerrard.JPGIn Tuesday’s other game in Italy between Roma and Manchester United a total of four youth team products were on show: De Rossi and Aquliani for the Italians and Paul Scholes and Wes Brown for the side from Manchester. There was not one in the duel between Fenerbahce and Chelsea in Istambul, and in London at the Emirates Stadium Arsenal could not manage a single youth product whereas Liverpool boasted the talents of Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard.

Schalke, Barça’s opponents in the quarter finals, had Neuer and Pander as players who have come through the youth system at the Gelsenkirchen club.
Youth Football Products in Europe
Six plus two
As well as the six Barça players in the Veltins Arena, two other Barça youth team products played in the first leg of the Champions’ League quarter finals: Cesc Fàbregas in an Arsenal shirt and Pepe Reina in goal for Liverpool.

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