Just over two years ago, on 21 January 2021, Ilaix Moriba made his debut with the Barça first team in an official match. It was in a Copa del Rey match in Cornella which was a very tough game.
Ilaix played 73 minutes in a good debut with Ronald Koeman on the bench. Naturally, the La Masia graduate will always be grateful to the Dutch coach. “I could hardly sleep today. I’m very grateful to the coach and my team-mates”, he said after the match.
Ilaix Moriba would end up playing 18 games with the first team, with one goal and three assists. However, he left through the back door. He wanted a lot of money to renew, the club could not reach him. Therefore, RB Leipzig ended up signing him for 15 million euros. What looked, or could have looked, like a product of the youth academy making history ended sadly.
In Germany he never really took off and left on loan halfway through the season to Valencia. This season, Valencia loaned him once again.
Gattuso didn’t let Ilaix play a lot. But something seems to have changed with the arrival of Ruben Baraja. He started in the defeat in Getafe and played good minutes against Real Sociedad.
Today at the Camp Nou, ‘Pipo’ could cause a surprise by deploying the youth player in the starting line-up. It would be his first time at Camp Nou as an opponent. We’ll see how he copes with the pressure and how he is received by the fans.