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Three Barcelona academy aces who showed promise but faded away

Three Barcelona academy aces who showed promise but faded away

Bengaluru, Sept. 16: Barcelona's academy ace Ansu Fati is making the headlines, and surely for right purposes. The 16-year-old attacker became Barcelona’s second-youngest La Liga scorer in their game against Real Betis and was again in the scoresheet this weekend against Valencia.

The Bissau-Guinean born footballer with such promises is surely now destined for big things, however, there are several players who despite making such promises at early stage failed to make a cut from the famous academy.

1) Bojan Krkic

Joining as a nine-year-old, he progressed to become the highest scorer in academy history reportedly with over 900 goals in his eight years there, before graduating to the first team. In one season alone he scored over 200 goals.

He later became the youngest player to ever play for Barcelona at the time, aged only 17 and came to the first team under Guardiola. But soon his senior footballing performance started to fade away and since leaving Barcelona in 2011 he never managed to produce the same aura again.

2) Giovani dos Santos

Barcelona signed him for their youth academy at the age of 11 and his impressive show at the junior stage even termed him as 'The Mexican Messi’. He made his competitive debut for Barcelona at the age of 18 but that was perhaps the only highlight of his career at the Camp Nou. He left the side only after one year and is currently plying his trade in Mexico.

3) Sergi Samper

Regarded as 'The Next Xavi', the Catalan youngster found it difficult to secure a place under Valverde. Born in Barcelona, the local player turned out over 100 times for Barça B from 2013 to 2016, featuring in a handful of first-team games during that period as well.

His several loan spells also did not help him either. First to Granada, where the team were relegated, then to Las Palmas, where he played very little after a serious injury. He made his debut under Luis Enrique in a 6-0 victory against Getafe. In the Champions League, he debuted a year and a half earlier, also with Luis Enrique as a coach as an 18-year-old. Samper signed a new contract at Camp Nou as recently as 2016 but it was terminated this year only to see him moving to Japan.

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Story first published: Monday, September 16, 2019, 13:05 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 16, 2019
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