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The 20 Best Players to Have Graduated from Barcelona’s La Masia Youth Academy | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

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Jerrad Peters@@jerradpetersTwitter LogoWorld Football Staff WriterApril 4, 2014

The 20 Best Players to Have Graduated from Barcelona’s La Masia Youth Academy

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    Manu Fernandez

    Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu came out swinging, Thursday, accusing FIFA of being “aggressive” and “abusive” in its decision to penalise the club for alleged breaches of transfer regulations.

    “I would like to make it clear that Barca are in total agreement with FIFA’s rules regarding the protection of minors,” he said, adding that the Primera Division giants prided themselves on their youth academy, known as La Masia, as per Santi Gimenez of AS.

    In a FIFA ruling handed down on Wednesday, the governing body sentenced Barcelona to a transfer ban for what it described as “breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.”

    Bartomeu’s retort was that the La Masia model had been in place for 35 years and tended to offer better education than what its foreign youngsters could expect to receive in their own countries.

    “We are not prepared to forgo our educational model and we will defend all of the minors on our books,” he said. “The message we want to transmit is that La Masia cannot be touched.”

    La Masia, or “The Farmhouse,” has been in operation since 1979 and has graduated numerous footballers into Barcelona’s first team.

    Following is a look at its 20 most illustrious alumni.

20. Fernando Navarro

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    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Barcelona-born, Fernando Navarro entered the club’s illustrious youth set-up as a 10-year-old, although he played parts of just three seasons at the Catalan giants.

    In 2006 he moved to Mallorca, and two years after that, he came to Sevilla as a transfer, where he blossomed into a dependable centre-back.

    Navarro has a Primera Division winner’s medal from the 2004-05 season, but in the spring of 2010, he helped Sevilla to reach the Copa del Rey.

19. Mikel Arteta

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Mikel Arteta never played a single senior match for Barcelona.

    Instead, he was offloaded to Rangers in 2002 following a one-year loan at Paris Saint-Germain. A brief stop at Real Sociedad followed, but from 2005 until 2011, he made a name for himself as one of the Premier League’s better central midfielders while at Everton.

    In the summer of 2011, he transferred to Arsenal, where he is a regular starter in manager Arsene Wenger’s side.

18. Nayim

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    Ben Radford/Getty Images

    Nayim entered La Masia when he was 12, although, after graduating to the first team, he played only part of a single season at Camp Nou.

    The midfielder’s best football was played at Tottenham Hotspur, for whom he scored a hat-trick in an FA Cup quarter-final at Manchester City, and he was also part of the Real Zaragoza team that beat Arsenal in the final of the 1995 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.

17. Luis Garcia Sanz

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Few of La Masia’s graduates have been as well-liked as Luis Garcia.

    After leaving the club for Liverpool in 2004, he helped the Reds to a fifth European Cup and scored the infamous “ghost goal” that knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League.

    He was named to the UEFA Team of the Year for those heroics, and the following season he picked up an FA Cup winner’s medal after Liverpool beat West Ham in the final.

16. Cesc Fabregas

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    A youth player at Barcelona from 1997 to 2003, Cesc Fabregas spent eight seasons at Arsenal before being repatriated to the Catalan capital in 2011.

    An FA Cup winner with the Gunners, Fabregas added his first league title to his trophy cabinet last spring and also has a pair of European Championships and a World Cup triumph to his credit.

    As longtime midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta continue to get older, Fabregas’ role at Barcelona will only become more prominent.

15. Pedro Rodriguez

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    Alex Caparros/Getty Images

    He’s still only 26 years old, but already Pedro Rodriguez has won four La Liga titles and a pair of European Cups with Barcelona as well as both the World Cup and Euro 2012 with Spain.

    He’s one of the top goal-scorers to have ever graduated from La Masia, and in both 2009-10 and 2010-11, he managed more than 20 goals.

    He has 18 in all competitions so far this season.

14. Victor Valdes

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    It would be a shame if Victor Valdes’ final act for Barcelona was being carried off on a stretcher after suffering a cruciate ligament injury against Celta Vigo.

    A Barcelona player since the age of 10, the goalkeeper has never represented another club, and in a 12-year professional career, he has so far amassed six La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns.

    One of the effects of the FIFA ban is the likelihood that he’ll remain at Camp Nou another season, despite being out of contract in June.

13. Sergi Barjuan

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    Wikimedia Commons

    Presently the manager of Recreativo Huelva, left-back Sergi Barjuan entered La Masia in 1988 and made his professional debut in 1993.

    Before retiring as an Atletico Madrid player in 2005, he won three league titles with the Blaugrana as well as the 1997 Cup Winners’ Cup and back-to-back Copa del Rey trophies in 1997 and 1998.

12. Thiago Motta

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    Michel Spingler

    Born in Brazil, Thiago Motta arrived at La Masia as a 17-year-old in 1999, and two years later he made his senior debut against Mallorca.

    Largely a bit-player at Camp Nou, he nevertheless won both La Liga and the Champions League with Barcelona in 2006 before joining Atletico Madrid the following year.

    A treble winner at Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan in 2010, he is presently playing some of the best football of his career for Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

11. Luis Milla

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    It’s perhaps ironic that a player trained by Barcelona spent his best footballing years wearing the shirt of Real Madrid.

    After making his debut for the Blaugrana in the 1984-85 season during a players’ strike, Luis Milla completed six campaigns for the club that yielded a league title, a Cup Winners’ Cup and the Copa del Rey.

    But at Real Madrid he won a pair of championships, and in 1999 he added a fourth domestic title while at Valencia.

10. Gerard Pique

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    After entering La Masia in 1997, Gerard Pique spent seven years in the Barcelona youth set-up before moving to Manchester United in 2004.

    The central defender made 28 appearances for the Red Devils in 2007-08 and the following spring was part of the side that claimed a Premier League and Champions League double.

    But he was promptly returned to Barcelona, where from 2008 until the present he has won four La Liga titles and two European Cups.

9. Ivan De La Pena

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    Bagu Blanco/Getty Images

    Few Spanish footballers of recent times carry the same cult status as Ivan de la Pena.

    Immensely talented, the diminutive midfielder joined La Masia as a 15-year-old, and two years later he made his senior debut.

    A Primera Division champion in 1998, he never got on with manager Louis van Gaal, and later that summer he was sold to Serie A side Lazio.

    In 2011 he wrapped up his career at Espanyol, where he picked up a Copa del Rey winner’s medal in 2006.

8. Sergio Busquets

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Sergio Busquets has shielded the Barcelona defense since breaking into the senior team in 2008.

    Renowned for his hard-tackling style, the 25-year-old is also a masterful passer of the ball and already has four league titles and two Champions League crowns to his name.

7. Albert Ferrer

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    Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    Now the manager of Cordoba, Albert Ferrer was Barcelona’s first-choice right-back during much of the 1990s and helped the Blaugrana to five Primera Division titles and the 1992 European Cup.

    In total Ferrer won 15 trophies while at Camp Nou, and after moving to Chelsea in 1998, he helped the Blues to the 2000 FA Cup.

    Ferrer also won 36 caps for Spain during an eight-year international career.

6. Guillermo Amor

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Guillermo spent eight years in the Barcelona youth set-up before making his senior debut in 1988.

    Over a decade with the Catalan giants, the elegant midfielder won 17 trophies, including five La Liga titles and the European Cup.

    His best season was the 1993-94 campaign, when he made 53 appearances for Barcelona and scored 11 goals en route to the title.

5. Carles Puyol

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    Getty Images/Getty Images

    The club captain of the modern Barcelona team, Carles Puyol arrived at La Masia as a 17-year-old before becoming one of the finest central defenders in the club’s history.

    Over 15 years with the first team, the now-35-year-old has amassed six La Liga titles and three European Cups, and he also has two European Championships and a World Cup to his name for Spain.

    Earlier this season Puyol announced he’d be leaving Barcelona at the end of the season, and when he does, he’ll leave a legacy almost unmatched at Camp Nou.

4. Pep Guardiola

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Speaking of legacy, Pep Guardiola has left quite an imprint at Barcelona—both as a player and manager.

    Turned into a central midfielder by former boss Johan Cruyff, Guardiola became one of the best players at his position during 11 years with the senior Barcelona side after promotion from the youth set-up in 1990.

    A seven-time league winner and European champion as a player, Guardiola went on to win three Primera Division titles and two Champions Leagues during a glorious four-year run as club manager.

3. Andres Iniesta

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    Alex Caparros/Getty Images

    If he didn’t play in the same team as Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta would be viewed as the finest Barcelona player of his generation.

    Although, third out of those three is nothing to sneeze at.

    A playmaker who can operate both in the centre of the park and to the left of the attack, the 29-year-old has been integral to the latest period of Barcelona success and also scored the 2010 World Cup-winning goal for Spain in South Africa.

2. Xavi Hernandez

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Xavi Hernandez will go down as one of the best distributors of a football of all time.

    After entering La Masia as a 10-year-old, Xavi spent six years in the club’s youth set-up before making his senior debut in 1998.

    He has since won seven La Liga titles, three European Cups, the World Cup and a pair of European Championships.

    Twice voted to third place on the Ballon d’Or ballot, he would almost certainly have claimed the award at least once if it weren’t for the duopoly of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

1. Lionel Messi

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    By now, Lionel Messi’s story is well-known.

    In 2000, the then-Newell’s Old Boys youngster moved to Barcelona after the club offered to pay for his growth-hormone treatment.

    The rest, as they say, is history.

    After spending four years at La Masia, Messi burst onto the scene in 2004, and by 2009 he was widely regarded as world football’s best player.

    The 26-year-old has already won the Ballon d’Or on four occasions, and in addition to numerous domestic and European titles, he has also scored more than 50 goals in a season on three occasions, hitting a high point of 73 in 2011-12.

Barcelona | Best Players in Squad 2022/2023

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League rank

95,"percentage":0},"challenges_won_percentage":{"title":"Challenges won, %","value":93.879999999999995,"value_90":40.990000000000002,"percentage":1},"team_presssing":{"title":"Team pressing","value":26.530000000000001,"value_90":32.07,"percentage":0},"team_ball_possessions":{"title":"Ball possessions, %","value":37.759999999999998,"value_90":101.7,"percentage":0},"passes_average_length":{"title":"Passes average length","value":25.510000000000002,"value_90":0.59999999999999998,"percentage":0}}” data-player-id=”56″ data-player-second-id=””>

Metric Per 90 Percentile
Expected Goals (xG) 1. 95


Challenges won, % 40.99


Team pressing 32.07


Ball possessions, % 101.7


Passes average length 0.6

25. 51%

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Who is the best player in Barcelona 2022/2023?

Currently the best player at Barcelona is Jordi Alba. His performance index is 93, he scored 1 goals and provided 3 assists. With 0 shots on goal and a conversion rate of 3% he is at the moment 93 in the La Liga.

Who is the best defender in Barcelona 2022/2023?

Currently the best defender in Barcelona is Sergio Busquets with total 117 pass interceptions. With this top performance he ranks number 37 of all top 5 European league defensive players and number 29 in the overall ranking of the La Liga.

Who is the best midfielder in Barcelona 2022/2023?

Currently the best midfielder in Barcelona is Robert Lewandowski. With a total of 6 assists he is number 98 of all top European players.

Who is the best striker in Barcelona 2022/2023?

At the moment Robert Lewandowski is the top scorer of Barcelona With 17 goals he is ranked 1 in the La Liga. With a total number of 41 shots on goal and a conversion rate of 41% he performs really well. His expected goal value is 17.26.

Barcelona current squad:

  • Jordi Alba, 1 Goals 3 Assists 60 Pass interceptions
  • Frenkie De Jong, 2 Goals 1 Assists 68 Pass interceptions
  • Sergio Busquets, 0 Goals 3 Assists 117 Pass interceptions
  • Ronald Araujo, 0 Goals 2 Assists 50 Pass interceptions
  • Ousmane Dembele, 5 Goals 5 Assists 20 Pass interceptions
  • Andreas Christensen, 0 Goals 1 Assists 59 Pass interceptions
  • Raphael Dias Belloli, 6 Goals 4 Assists 54 Pass interceptions
  • Gerard Pique, 0 Goals 0 Assists 16 Pass interceptions
  • Pedro Gonzalez Lopez, 6 Goals 0 Assists 53 Pass interceptions
  • Jules Kounde, 0 Goals 2 Assists 97 Pass interceptions
  • Eric Garcia, 1 Goals 0 Assists 68 Pass interceptions
  • Robert Lewandowski, 17 Goals 6 Assists 25 Pass interceptions
  • Marc Andre ter Stegen, 0 Goals 0 Assists 38 Pass interceptions
  • Alejandro Balde Martinez, 0 Goals 4 Assists 61 Pass interceptions
  • Sergi Roberto, 4 Goals 1 Assists 47 Pass interceptions
  • Marcos Alonso, 1 Goals 0 Assists 50 Pass interceptions
  • Pablo Martin Paez Gavira, 1 Goals 3 Assists 66 Pass interceptions
  • Ansu Fati, 4 Goals 2 Assists 30 Pass interceptions
  • Ferran Torres Garcia, 3 Goals 0 Assists 20 Pass interceptions
  • Franck Kessie, 1 Goals 1 Assists 27 Pass interceptions
  • Ignacio Sostres Pena Sotorres, 0 Goals 0 Assists 0 Pass interceptions
  • , 0 Goals 0 Assists 0 Pass interceptions
  • Ferran Jutgla Blanch, 0 Goals 0 Assists 0 Pass interceptions
  • , 0 Goals 0 Assists 0 Pass interceptions

More information about Barcelona

Barcelona’s website: https://www.

Barcelona’s wikipedia page:

Barcelona’s Instagram account:

The history of FC Barcelona’s victorious path

The Spanish club Barcelona is one of the most successful in world football. Over the years, football fans have enjoyed the game of famous players whose names have made the team, the country and the sport famous. The blue garnet football kit of Barcelona, ​​like the team itself, is one of the most popular among fans and football lovers.

FC Barcelona was founded on November 29, 1899. At its origins was a group of footballers led by Juan Gamper. At the beginning of the club’s existence, most of the matches were held in England and Switzerland.

The successful period for the team begins in 1910, when the leading players were Josep Samitier, Paulino Alcantara and Ricardo Zamora. Barcelona wins ten Copa del Rey, succeeds in the Catalan championship and in the first championship of Spain.

Four more titles of the champion of Spain and one national cup the team wins in the early 40s. But already in 1942, at the end of the season, Barcelona took 12th place and was close to relegation to the second division. A 5-1 victory over Real Murcia helped the Catalans avoid this. Barcelona pleases with new successes at 1950s, when the team is managed by Ferdinando Dauchik and Helenio Herrera. She becomes the winner of four championships and wins five Spanish Cups, wins the European Fairs Cup three times. During this period, Barça becomes a finalist in other European competitions.

Another powerful wave of success, thanks to the reinforcement of the team by Johan Cruyff, Rinus Michels, and Johan Niiskens, overtakes it in the 1970s. Barcelona becomes the winner of the Spanish championship 1973/1974 and Cup Winners’ Cup. The national championship of the 80s was not marked by achievements. At the same time, the club wins the Spanish Cup and the second Cup Winners’ Cup in their triumphant history.

In 1988 Barça changed their coach to former player Johan Cruyff. Under his leadership, one of the most successful periods in the history of the team begins: four wins in the championship of Spain, the third Cup Winners’ Cup and the first victory in the Champions Cup.

Cruyff’s winning baton passed to Bobby Robson and Louis Van Gaal in the late 1990s. The team is played by Rivaldo, Luis Figo and Ronaldo, thanks to which the “blaugaran” wins the Spanish league title twice.

Between 1999 and 2004, there is a slight lull, after which the Spanish club once again declares itself as the strongest team in their country.

In the 2004/2005 season, during another triumph, Frank Rijkaard becomes the team’s coach, and one of the main players is the brilliant Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho.

The 2005-2006 season, in addition to winning the Spanish championship, pleased with the victory in the Champions League. Luck does not leave Barcelona under Pep Guardiola, during whose tenure the audience admires the game of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi.

In the 2008-2009 season, the Catalan club scores a hat-trick, winning in:

In the 2010-2011 season, Barcelona are again the strongest, both domestically and on the European arena. Team wins:

In the 2012-2013 season, the team is led by Tito Vilanova, under whose leadership Barcelona sets a record for the number of points scored in the championship (100 points) and becomes the 22-time champion of Spain.

The 2014/2015 season was marked by the second hat-trick of the Blaugarans: the team wins the Champions League for the fifth time, wins the championship and the Spanish Cup. Barcelona is the first European team to achieve this result twice.

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Photo: Global Look Press 19, according to the club’s official Twitter page.