Youth eclipses experience at Barcelona | Soccer | Sports

A forward and a defender. In a team designed and built to enhance the midfielders, precisely because its coach is considered one of the best midfielders in history, in Xavi Hernández’s Barcelona, ​​the winger Lamine Yamal (16 years old) and the central Pau Cubarsí (17). “Pau’s hierarchy and Lamine’s goal,” Xavi highlighted after the victory, his fifth, to which were added three other draws since the Barça coach announced his goodbye for June. “Cubarsí is intelligent. He knows when to crash and when not to. He hasn’t lost a single duel. Spectacular. In the pause, in what he generates from behind… It doesn’t look like he’s 17 years old,” the coach praised the youth player. “I am very happy for the victory and for the clean sheet,” added Lamine on the night that Ter Stegen turned 400 games as a Barça player.


Ter Stegen, Íñigo Martínez, Pau Cubarsí, Cancelo, Koundé, A. Christensen, Raphinha (Fermín López, min. 37), Gündogan (Oriol Romeu, min. 86), Lamine Yamal, João Félix (Vitor Roque, min. 61) and Marc Guiu (Lewandowski, min. 61)



Predrag Rajkovic, Raíllo, Giovanni González, Copete (Radonjic, min. 82), Nastasic, Lato (Jaume Costa, min. 70), Manu Morlanes (Dani, min. 61), Darder (Antonio Sánchez, min. 70), Samuel Costa, Cyle Larin (Abdón Prats, min. 82) and Muriqi

Goals 1-0 min. 73: Lamine Yamal.

Referee Javier Iglesias Villanueva

Yellow cards Íñigo Martínez (min. 52) and Samuel Costa (min. 85)

“I tried to pin the full-back and as they left me space I looked for the shot. Scoring a goal with our fans in front is always a dream,” added the winger, voted best player of the match. “I try to give my best, I don’t care who is in front of me, I go 200%, I don’t flinch and I try to do my best. People shouting my name? I have listened to them, it is a pride that the club of your life recognizes what you are doing,” Cubarsí added. Youth eclipses experience, including midfielders.

In the engine room, Gündogan, 32, was left alone. And Xavi likes (or so he says) to play with four midfielders. “The whole team benefits, we lose fewer balls. They are more responsible,” he usually argues. Against Mallorca, the German was the only midfielder who took the field. And Barcelona suffered from it: Gündogan appeared near Ter Stegen’s area to help get the ball out, he was also close to Rajkovic’s area, never as close to the Mallorcan team’s goalkeeper as when he choked on the penalty that Copete had committed against him. to Raphinha, signaled late after the intervention of the VAR.

“It wasn’t a game of ten, twelve or fifteen times. The penalty thing was a shame,” said Xavi. The Brazilian striker was precisely one of those who played alongside Gündogan in the midfield; and the third midfielder was a defender, Christensen. Xavi, then, forgot to play with four midfielders and recovered the 4-3-3, with João Félix as the left winger.

When it came to making the starting eleven, the coach was affected by injuries – Pedri and De Jong were injured during the previous match, in San Mamés – as well as personal messages. The first, for the usual one: Vitor Roque. The Barça coach, every time he can, makes it clear that he did not ask the Brazilian. On the eve of the match against Naples for a place in the Champions League quarterfinals, Xavi once again opted for Marc Guiu to replace Lewandowski, initially on the bench, to take care of his legs ahead of Tuesday’s duel against the Neapolitans.

“If he wins it, he will participate and play, like everyone else,” said the coach in the run-up to the duel against Mallorca. Xavi’s second message was for Fermín López. The youth player had not played a good game against Athletic and opted for Raphinha. But the winger did not last long on the field. “I asked him (the Brazilian) and he told me it was just the blow. “Everyone who was against Naples today will be there,” confirmed the coach.

With four midfielders or with three, Barcelona continues in the same dynamic of the season. “I think it is the tone of the entire course. The effectiveness marks a suffered game for us. Today it was difficult to attack that line of five. The center backs jump very well. It is difficult to generate. I am always optimistic, despite the situation we are in. This victory gives us confidence and morale. It seems like it’s not important, but it is. We need the fans for Tuesday’s game,” Xavi analyzed. And, as always since he announced he was leaving at the end of the season, he recalled: “The team has improved since I said I was leaving. It’s not by chance”.

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