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12.08.2008 10:15

Youngsters rewarded for good work

David Puig

Guardiola is keeping his confidence in the five youngsters that took part in the US tour. They will all continue to work with the first team as they prepare for the game with Wisla.

Josep Guardiola knows them well and knows what they can do. They haven’t let him down this preseason and he has therefore decided that after travelling to Scotland and the USA, they will continue to play with the first team players. It may be an unusual situation, but Guardiola has always been a firm believer in the B team. After all, he himself was a player who started out at La Masia before going on to become a regular member of the Barça first team.

Winning confidence

hibernian-fcb1_x10x.jpgJeffren, Pedro, Sergi Busquets, Víctor Vázquez and Víctor Sánchez have played well and worked hard, and fully deserve the confidence Guardiola has shown in them. And the players have started at an advantage with respect to the first team, because they already know all about Guardiola’s ideas.

Once the preseason is over, the reserve players usually go back to training with their peers, as already occurred with Córcoles and Abraham, who did take part in the Saint Andrews camp. But in a break from tradition, the five B team players will, for the time being, be staying under the orders of Guardiola.

Messi paves the way

fiore-fcb_x6x.jpgIn recent seasons, this kind of attitude has become fairly normal at Barça, though not to such a large extent. We need look no further than Leo Messi in 2005/06. The Argentinian went to Asia and carried on with the first team thereafter. But that same summer, Rodri and Pitu, once the preseason was over, went straight back to joining in with the reserve team preparations.

Bojan and Giovani

Last season, Bojan and Giovani Dos Santos were the only reserves that stayed on with the first team once the trip to Saint Andrews and the tour of China and Japan were over. Bojan missed the tour because of the Under 17 World Cup, but rejoined Frank Rijkaard as soon as he was back in Barcelona. Giovani also stayed with the first team, while Oier, Dimas, Olmo, Marc Valiente and Marc Crosas returned to the reserves.
Youngsters rewarded for good work
Conditioned by international competition
One of the reasons the reserve team players have stayed on so long has been because so many of the first team players were late returning due to international tournaments. The season with the greatest reserve team representation was 2004/05, when, following the European Championship, no fewer than eleven players joined the first team. There were also nine players in Aarhus in summer 2006 following the World Cup in Germany.

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