The meteoric rise of Unai Hernandez, a new Barcelona starlet – report

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 22: Marc Guiu of FC Barcelona is congratulated by Unai Hernandez after the team's victory in the LaLiga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on October 22, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.
Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

The youth of Barcelona continue to amaze and astound no matter where they play. While some of the most prominent talents have already begun to feature regularly for the Barcelona first team, other hopefuls continue to prove their worth within the academy and the subsidiary.

One such name is that of talented midfielder Unai Hernandez. The 18-year-old attacking midfielder has come a long way since arriving at FC Barcelona. However, his progression towards becoming one of the most prominent youth talents within Barça is an interesting tale.

As highlighted by SPORT, Barcelona made their first official advance towards the player in March of last year. Having been a fan of La Blaugrana since many years, Hernandez ultimately ended up making the switch from Girona to Barça.

Upon his arrival, Barcelona were greeted with a shock. Whereas most players take their time to adapt and begin with decent performances, Unai Hernandez came running. His influence became crucial to Oscar Lopez’s side that would eventually end up winning their league that season.

His progression was so great, in fact, that he now is seen as a regular at Barcelona Athletic. Under the orders of Rafa Marquez, he has become a crucial piece of the team. Even more impressively, his name has been called up to the first team on several occasions by Xavi Hernandez.

Last season, a match against Celta Vigo for the first team would end up being his first-ever call-up. Moreover, that very season, Xavi would once again call the attacking midfielder to represent Barcelona against Japanese side Vissel Kobe in a friendly game.

This game would then present him with the opportunity to play against Andres Iniesta himself. The Spaniard remains an icon and hero for many, and Unai Hernandez is no exception to that. He even later managed to get a photograph with his club and country’s legend.

Scoring 15 goals across all competitions in the first season under Oscar Lopez, he also shows a bit of attacking bite to him. Hernandez is a great player with the ball at his feet, and the comparisons to Iniesta’s style of play are not thrown around lightly. His technical gift is a great joy to behold.

For now, he focuses on helping Barcelona Athletic. However, whenever and wherever Xavi Hernandez may need him, he will answer without fail. He has already been included in the first-team squad on two occasions this season as well.

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