17-year-old Barcelona guardian shines against Athletic Club

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

FC Barcelona took away more than just a loss and defeat from their recent game against Athletic Club. Despite seeing themselves crash out of the Copa Del Ray, Barça did not lose hope. In fact, even after the game, Xavi continues to believe Barcelona has the potential to be special whether or not he is there.

However, it is interesting to understand why exactly Xavi believes this beyond just his sentimental values. The right answer is only one, and that is also the one positive Barcelona took away from the game in its entirety. That particular positive would be the youngsters who made their mark for Barcelona.

Lamine Yamal, Hector Fort, Marc Guiu, and Pau Cubarsi were the heart and soul of the team. However, SPORT has recently highlighted just how extraordinary Cubarsi’s performance was against Athletic Club. Even more impressively, this was not the first time he has played this significantly well for the first team.

Against Athletic Club, in particular, the youngster lost not a single ball in the entirety of his 51-minute performance. Not dispossessed a single time, and much of the credit for that goes to his exceptional mastery of the ball. Passing like a veteran midfielder, he completed 55 of the 57 passes he attempted.

This translates to a 96% pass success rate. Moreover, it was not just sideways passing that the player resorted to either. Instead, he ensured that he passed vertically whenever he could, and even made four passes directly into the opponent’s final third.

Defensively, he was just as reliable in his execution. Two duels won on the ground out of the three he attempted, he also made four ball recoveries and successfully pulled off both tackles that he attempted.

A very complete central defender, he replaced Andreas Christensen after the Dane got injured and ensured that his absence was not felt. Even his seniors trusted him on several occasions to find the right pass for himself. This itself speaks volumes about his quality and maturity, as Cubarsi ensures that Barça’s future looks bright.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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