Barcelona make history with their 16-year-old prodigies


SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 21: Pau Cubarsi of FC Barcelona leaves the pitch following injury during the LaLiga EA Sports match between Real Betis and FC Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on January 21, 2024 in Seville, Spain.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The latest outing for FC Barcelona resulted in the Catalans overcoming Real Betis. The Blaugrana understood the difficulties and stakes of the game well, and performed accordingly. A 4-2 victory sits well with Barcelona, as they take all three points to themselves.

However, beyond just the result and the performance, there were other positives for Barça as well. The most identifiable of those positives came in the selection of the team, which included two very certain anomalies.

As highlighted by SPORT, Xavi decided to field two 16-year-old youngsters in his starting eleven. In almost 24 years, this is the first team that a Barcelona coach has decided to field two players of that young age.

The two youngsters in question were none other than Pau Cubarsi and Lamine Yamal. Aged 16, both of these starlets have emerged from the Barça subsidiary with a great hype surrounding their respective names. One of them, Yamal, primarily plays as a forward, while Cubarsi acts mainly as a central defender.

The Spanish right-winger, aged exactly 16 years and 192 days, had a game to remember. He did not just manage to dribble his way through the opposition several times on his own, he also added to the goal tally. Directly hitting the post on two separate occasions, one of them became an indirect assist.

However, he also provided a direct assist later on. For the fourth and final Barcelona goal, Yamal provided a great pass to Ferran Torres who managed to convert the chance flawlessly and complete his hattrick. Overall, a memorable performance by Yamal that could arguably be remembered as his best one yet for the first team.

Cubarsi, on the other hand, was a bit of a surprise starter. Unlike Yamal, he has not been a regular participant for Xavi this season. However, he played like he had never even been out of place playing with his accomplished seniors.

Fitting in the system like a glove, and aged 16 years and 364 days, he passed and weaved his way through the Real Betis pressure. With a 94% pass succession rate, and consistently winning all duels and contests he took, Cubarsi also leaves the Benito Villamarin as a history maker with Yamal.

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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