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10.02.2010 13:34

Jeffren, a winger in constant progression

Jaume Marcet

Jeffren Suárez joined the Barça youth academy in 2005. Since then he’s climbed up the footballing ladder and earned a place in the senior squad.

Jeffren was born in Venezuela on 20th January 1988 but moved to the Canary Islands with his family when he was just one year old. He later joined local club CD Tenerife before moving to Barça when he was 16.

A change of position

jeffren.jpgIn his early days at Barça, Jeffren played in midfield or as a second striker and demonstrated a tremendous ability to break into the opposing penalty area. Argentine coach Guillermo Hoyos, his first coach at the Club, said of Jeffren in 2004: “He’s a lad with a lot of potential. He’s physically strong and has some technical ability, although he can still improve”.

In his second season at the Club, Jeffren moved up to Juvenil A, managed by Juan Carlos Pérez Rojo. That season he was reconverted into a winger, either on the left or the right.

The breakthrough

6.jpgJeffren was promoted to the reserves in the 2006/07 season, precisely the year that the team was relegated. With the arrival of Guardiola to take charge of the reserves, there was big shake-up. Jeffren not only kept his place in the squad but earned himself a regular place in the starting line-up, injury permitting. He also made his first team debut that season (with Rijkaard on the manager’s bench) in a Cup match against Badalona. At the beginning of last season he suffered a serious injury but returned to make a key contribution to the reserves’ magnificent second half of the season.

So far this season he has played 3 league matches, one in the Champions League and two in the Spanish Cup. But perhaps his most memorable performance was against Estudiantes in the World Club Cup final. He came on as a substitute and helped the team open up the left wing and equalize.

His first report on Barça TV

Jeffren_Barxa_TV.jpgOn 2nd November 2005, Barça TV broadcast an interview with Jeffren where he spoke about his dreams for the future: “I’d really like to play in the Camp Nou but I’ve still got a long way to go. I hope that a couple of seasons from now Rijkaard will call me up for the occasional training session”. He also confirmed that he preferred playing at inside right.
Jeffren, a winger in constant progression
A view from the youth coach
One of the coaches that worked with Jeffren at youth level four years ago, Alex Garcia, told www.fcbarcelona.cat:

“I coached Jeffren in the 2005/06 season. I remember that at the beginning he was very shy, both with me and with my assistant Marc Huguet. As the season progressed, he consolidated his place in the team and became a very important player. He has enormous physical qualities and that year we tried to make him capable of rationalizing the potential that he has within himself. He’s two-footed and has a powerful shot. He showed the best of himself in the Spanish Cup, forming an excellent attacking threesome with Bojan and Giovani dos Santos, and this was enough to send him to the under-19s World Cup in the summer and promote him to the reserves – although he still had a year to go with the youth team. He’s a team player and has sacrificed a lot to be here. I’m very happy for him and for his family”.

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