17-year-old Barcelona gem to carry on Xavi’s legacy – report

Barcelona's Spanish coach Xavi walks during the medal ceremony after the Spanish Super Cup final football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Al-Awwal Park Stadium in Riyadh, on January 14, 2024.
Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images

La Masia has often provided FC Barcelona with a lot of relief and joy in times of despair. The Academy of La Blaugrana, heralded by many as the best in the world, is known for producing elite talents. However, the academy provides Barcelona with certain generational talents from time to time, and they manage to stand out rather easily.

One such player, who many regard as an anomaly, is 17-year-old Spanish defender Pau Cubarsi. Despite his tender age, he has broken into the first team courtesy of his quality and the way he has transformed the Barcelona back line whenever he is included as a component of it.

However, the person who will long be remembered for Cubarsi’s explosion will indeed be Xavi Hernandez. According to Diario AS, it was the Barcelona head coach who ensured that Cubarsi’s progression continues at Barça rather than at those clubs who were interested in taking him away.

The likes of Premier League giants Manchester City were reportedly among the teams most invested in taking away the talented 17-year-old, but Xavi wanted to make sure that he remained at Barcelona. After all, Cubarsi will now eternally be remembered as Xavi’s big bet this season.

The Barcelona coach made sure that the talented subsidiary defender played against Unionistas in the Copa Del Rey and got to show off his skills. Since then, he has remained a permanent member of the Barcelona first team.

Moreover, it is now even being reported that he is already understood to be a mainstay for the team beyond this season. For the Blaugrana head coach, there is one particular metric in which the youngster is perhaps even the club’s best player:

“He played for the ball distribution. For me, Cubarsí is the best center-back we have in terms of ball distribution. It’s spectacular, at 17 years old, we were looking for that…”

“He plays with a tremendous personality and moreover, he doesn’t miss a pass, he gives them all with purpose. He always improves on the pass that you, as a coach, think he should make. He looks for the second line, it’s a tremendous breakthrough, to be at the club for many years.”

Beyond Xavi’s stay at the club, Cubarsi will continue the coach’s legacy. Barcelona may see the arrival of a new coach at the helm of the club, but the young 17-year-old will always be remembered as Xavi’s grand bet of the season and an asset to the club for years to come.

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