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20.12.2010 13:50

Homegrown striker

Bojan Krkic renewing his contract until 2015 at FC Barcelona means another youth team player will continue to grow and thrive at the club and again highlights the successful system of La Masia.

The 20-year-old has risen through the ranks and proved that he can play at the highest level while seeking to become the first out and out homegrown striker to succeed in the Barça first team for many years. His natural instinct, speed and eye for goal has made him a vital member of Pep Guardiola's squad in a position that few local players have been able to succeed in. Having already appeared in 146 matches for the Blaugrana first team, Krkic was rewarded with a new deal that will keep him at Camp Nou for at least another five seasons.

Record breaker

vilareal02.jpgDespite having scored 38 goals at the highest level and having been involved at the top for so long Krkic is still the youngest member of the squad and has many records to his name. As well as being the third youngest player to make his Barça debut he was also the youngest to score a league goal, at 17 years and 51 days of age, and the second youngest goalscorer in the history of the champions League.

On November 21, 2009 Krkic also became the youngest player to make 100 first-team appearances for FC Barcelona's first team. The forward was given his chance by Frank Rijkaard during the 2007/08 season and has consolidated his place under Guardiola.

No surprise

Krkic's rise to prominence is not a surprise to anyone within the club that watched him progress through the youth ranks as he played at almost every level for the club. After starting in the Benjamí side he rose to the Junior team and onwards until he reached Barça B. The step up to the first team was also made with little effort as he netted 10 goals in his first season.

Historic side

FCB_-_AD_CEUTA_x29x.JPGFC Barcelona have produced a string of superb homegrown players and Krkic is now playing for an historic side in an age when money and big names bought in are commonplace. Instead, the Blaugrana have a locally produced team with the striker being one of a number of great talents to come from La Masia.
Homegrown striker
La Masia
La Masia is now world famous as the best homegrown players at FC Barcelona are given a chance to shine in the first team and are reaching heights that even the most optimistic fans would not have thought possible. The greatest indication of the club's success in this area is that all three finalists for the Ballon d'Or award are players that have come through the ranks with Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández and Lionel Messi all vying for the gong.

In total no less than 10 of the 19 first-team squad members were produced by the club. Víctor Valdés, Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Jeffren and Krkic have all played for Barça's junior and youth teams. Along with those stars a number of current Barça B players are promoted regularly to train with the first team to continue the tradition.

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