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08.06.2009 13:57

Nine reserves make League debuts

Berta Brau

Josep Guardiola has added the triumph of Barça’s academy to a fantastic season by giving first team debuts to nine players who have come up through its ranks.

The 2008/09 season has been historic for a number of reasons, but one of them has perhaps received less coverage than the others as it doesn’t end up with a trophy; the season has been a triumph for Barça’s academy. Manager Josep Guardiola, himself a product of the La Masia system, has kept the faith with home-grown talent and, in addition to the eight first team regulars who learnt their trade in the club’s youth teams and Pedro, who made his debut under Rijkaard last season, he has handed out League debuts to nine reserve team players.

Debuts and first team squad

basel-fcb.jpgBusquets and Víctor Sanchez, two players who’ve been in the first team squad all season, made their debuts under Guardiola. Sergio Busquets was in the starting XI against Racing Santander in the second League game of the season and since then has been a key player. Víctor Sánchez got his chance at San Mamés, and though he hasn’t played such an important role, he’s stayed in the first team squad all season.

Four debuts at the Ono Estadi

WEB_33.jpgThe other 7 debuts took place at the end of the season once the League title had been assured. Thiago, Xavi Torres, Jeffren and Oier will always remember the Ono Estadi as the venue for their debuts. Oier and Torres were in the starting line-up while Thiago and Jeffren came on for Gudjohnsen and Pedro.

Second youngest debut

QM3D5600.jpgThe debut with the biggest impact was undoubtedly made by Marc Muniesa. He came on against Osasuna at Camp Nou as the club’s second youngest player ever. He then got sent off, the crowd made their displeasure with the referee quite clear, and he got to celebrate the League and Cup titles all in the same evening.

Finally at Riazor Guardiola gave Abraham and Botía their first minutes in the League.
Nine reserves make League debuts
18 academy products in the League
The First Division bears testimony to the quality of Barça’s academy. In 38 games, 18 of the players who have turned out in the League for Barça have come up through the club’s youth and reserve teams.

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