The Barça youth system played a huge role in the league title win this season. Of the 25 players used by Guardiola, 15 grew up at Masia and 5 of these more usually play for Barça B.
Josep Guardiola has no qualms about turning to the team’s reserve players when required. No
fewer than five Barça B players appeared in league matches this season, and he even picked youth
team player Gerard Deulofeu for the league game at Anoeta against Real Sociedad.
The midfielder was the Barça B player that Guardiola used the most in the league.
He was in most of the first team squads, and played in 10 matches, for a total of 481 minutes. He
started three of those games and scored two goals, against Almeria at the Camp Nou (3-1) and at
Anoeta against Real Sociedad (2-1). Game after game, Thiago has improved as a footballer in such a
demanding role as central midfielder.
With Abidal, Adriano, Maxwell and Puyol sidelined, Guardiola decided to
promote versatile Barça B defender Andreu Fontàs to the first team on March 17, and used him in
four games, three as a starter. He made his debut this season away to Almeria (0-8), where he laid
on a goal for Pedro and later played against Real Sociedad at Anoeta, Espanyol at the Camp Nou and
away to Levante in the game that clinched the title. In the last three games, Fontàs played at left
back, a position he had never played in before, but did a fantastic job of it.
So many injuries in the first team defence offered a chance to Barça B right back, Martín
Montoya. He first played against Mallorca at Son Moix on February 27, his official debut, where he
came on for the last few minutes. The defender also played at Anoeta. He was in the first eleven,
but sadly after just 14 minutes he fractured his collarbone and needed surgery on May 2. His season
was over as he was sidelined for between four and six weeks.
Nolito and Dos Santos
The other two Barça B players to appear for the first team this year were striker Nolito and
midfielder ‘Jona’ Dos Santos. The Andalusian played for 12 minutes against Mallorca at
the Camp Nou (1-1) and revolutionised the Barcelona attack when he came on. Nolito also played two
minutes away to Hercules (0-3).
Finally, Mexican Jonathan dos Santos also got his moment of glory in the first team, when he
played seven minutes at El Madrigal, where Barça beat Vila-real 1-0 to move closer to the league