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08.07.2007 13:14

A springboard to the top

Sandra Sarmiento

Giovani dos Santos' transition into one of the stars of the current FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada sees the Mexican follow in a long line of FC Barcelona to have also shone in the tournament in recent years.

First there were Xavi and Gabri and then Lionel Messi and now the event has continued to enable stars of the Barça youth ranks to step up and prove themselves at the highest level.

Messi crowned king of Holland

lionel-messi-argentina-05.jpgIn 2005, Messi was the sensation of the World Cup in Holland. The Argentinian helped his side to glory as they went on to defeat Nigeria in the final. As well as being top goalscorer, Messi was named as the best player of the competition.

Iniesta is one of the best

Two years before that Andrés Iniesta was one of the stars as Spain reached the final in the Arab Emirates before being beaten by Brazil. The media and the fans were united in their praise for the Fuentealbilla-born midfielder and were keen to see him move up to the Barça first team quickly. FIFA agreed and named Iniesta in their team of the tournament.

Xavi and Gabri

In 1999, Barça saw players come of age in the World Cup in Nigeria as Xavi, who is now one of the Blaugrana's captains, and Gabri leave their mark in the even for the Spain side.

Xavi was enjoying his first taste of international football and proved that, despite his young age, that he was ready to play at the top.
A springboard to the top
Previous stars
Other players that have played for FC Barcelona and have appeared in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup include Diego Maradona, in 1979, Robert Prosinecki, in 1987, Iván De la Peña, in 1995, and Javier Saviola in 2001.

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