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28.09.2008 18:20

Seven home-produced players in starting eleven

Anna Segura

In the Barcelona derby, Josep Guardiola fielded a starting line-up that featured seven locally produced players. It was the first time that many had been in the side since a game in 2007 against Villarreal.

The exact date October 20, 2007, the opposition was Villarreal, and the ground was El Madrigal. Frank Rijkaard fielded no fewer than seven players that had grown up at La Masia, a circumstance that was repeated last night against Espanyol.

Eleven months and seven days had passed since the last time Barça was represented by that many locally raised players.

Hometown derby

espanyol-fcb_x3x.jpgThe game between Espanyol and Barça had a very local flavour, for Espanyol, with six members of their side being products of their own youth system, also had a strong Catalan presence in their squad too.

The locally produced players in the side Josep Guardiola sent out at Montjuïc were Valdés, Piqué, Puyol, Sergio Busquets, Iniesta, Messi and Xavi. Not only that, but Bojan came on for Sergio Busquets in the 65th minute, so a total of eight former Barça youth team players got their chance to shine in the derby.

The last time

fcb-vilareal_-bojan11_x1x.jpgIt is not a common sight to have that many locals in the Barça line-up. The side that played against Villarreal back in 2007 included the following seven home-grown players: Valdés, Oleguer, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi y Bojan.

Despite losing 3-1, Bojan scored the only goal for Barça that day, becoming the clubs youngest ever league goalscorer.
Seven home-produced players in starting eleven
Looking locally
Although the side Guardiola fielded against Espanyol was unusually lacking in big name imports, there is a noted tendency this season to give a chance to home-grown talent. In the league game against Racing Santander, no fewer than nine of them played a part at some time or other. Valdés, Puyol, Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Pedro all played from the start, while Andrés Iniesta, Bojan and Messi came on as substitutes.

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