After talking about the more known talents that were born in 2000+ and came through La Masia with the likes of Xavi Simons, Arnau Martinez, Take Kubo and others. It’s time to discuss rather underrated and less known players that are still very interesting to follow. While some of them could surprise you that they have played in the academy.
This article will talk about players that do not belong to Barcelona and have left the club permanently. This is the part 2 out of 3 of the La Masia players in Europe series.
LESS KNOWN TALENTS
Adrián Bernabé (2001)
Adrián joined La Masia at the age of 12 from Espanyol after impressing at the La Liga Promises tournament. After arriving in Barcelona, he joined Infantil B and progressed through the youth ranks playing with the likes of Take Kubo, Eric Garcia, Ansu Fati, Arnau Tenas, and Konrad de la Fuente. After spending 4 years at La Masia he left the club for Manchester City after not being convinced by the economical and sporting proposals.
In 2018 he made his first team debut against Oxford United in EFL Cup at the age of 17. During his time at Man City, he contributed 14 goals and 22 assists. While starting as a midfielder, eventually Adrian was converted into a left-back where he exceeded.
In 2021 his contract was expiring and he was linked with a return to Barcelona, joining the subsidiary. However, eventually, he followed his former coach to Parma in Serie B. The player contributed with 6 goals and 4 assists for the Italian club, but his development was staggered by a serious injury in 2021.
Now recovered, he’s participating with Spain U21 in Euro 21, where he could surprise quite a few people as he can be seen as a very underrated player in the tournament.
José Marsà (2002)
Jose played in La Masia from an early age. He started at the prebenjamin level, which is the earliest stage, where players can start playing at Barcelona’s academy. While coming through the ranks, Jose was usually named as the captain of the team. In the 20/21 season, the Spanish centre-back was in the dynamics of Barcelona B, as Garcia Pimienta was a big fan of the player and trusted him a lot.
However at the end of the season, he was not willing to renew his contract as the player wanted more possibilities with the first team, and the club wasn’t able to offer him that. Eventually, he left for Sporting, with the promise that the player would be in the dynamics of the first team.
At the end of the 21/22 season, he made his debut for the Portuguese club. The player even made a Champions League debut against Marseille. However, disappointed with the lack of playing time he left on loan to Sporting Gijon in La Liga Smartbank.
This summer he is not expected to stay at Sporting and is not expected to come back to Gijon. Multiple clubs are interested in the player, with the player looking to join a La Liga-level club.
Leo dos Reis (2003)
Leo’s football journey didn’t start similarly to others. Initially, he played futsal, while also being a fan of football. In 2014 he joined La Masia from Cornella, however, it was not as simple as it sounds. At first, it was expected that he would play for Barcelona’s futsal team, but eventually, the young striker decided to reach for playing on the grass. While in La Masia he also spent a few loan periods back at Cornella, before leaving the club permanently for Birmingham City in 2021.
Despite leaving the club, Leo kept in touch with some La Masia players like Gavi, Balde and even Xavi Simons and considers him as one of his best friends. His adventure in England didn’t last long as after 1 year, scoring 5 goals and getting 1 assist in 10 games. He joined Monza Primavera.
In the 22/23 season, Leo saw his best individual performance as he helped the club get promoted to the first division of Primavera after scoring 16 goals and picking up 8 assists. Now it remains to be seen, whether the striker will be promoted to the first team or will look for another club.
Marc Jurado (2004)
Marc joined La Masia at the age of 7. While in the academy he was considered as the most talented right-back to come through the La Masia in recent years. However, in 2020 he left Barcelona, due to sporting reasons. He was tempted by the offer from English giants – Manchester United. He joined their U18 side and was seen as a big talent by Man Utd fans. This season he was impressive for their U21 side scoring 3 goals and picking up 4 assists. In April of 2023, Marc entered the squad of the first team to face Nottingham Forest, however, was not able to make his debut.
With his contract expiring this season, it needs to be seen whether he will renew or will leave the English. Meanwhile, Sergi Rosanas and Alvaro Nunez left the club. Therefore leaving Barcelona’s subsidiary without a right-back, besides Julian Araujo who could be with the first team the entire season. If Barcelona is smart they could try to reach Marc to see if the player is interested in returning to his former club.
Jan Oliveras (2004)
Jan joined La Masia in 2016 from Espanyol. Started as a midfielder in Barcelona, he was converted into a left-back later in his career. The player spent 4 years in La Masia before making a switch to AS Roma, due to their attractive financial and sporting offer. The player joined their U18 squad, where he contributed with 3 assists.
In the 21/22 season he was promoted to their Primavera squad. In the same season he picked up a goal and 5 assists in just under 1000 minutes. At the end of the season AS Roma renewed his contract until 2026. Meanwhile this season he assisted 3 times. Jan was seen quite often training with the first team. He evenentered a few squad lists for the first team AS Roma. But as of now, he is yet to make his debut for them.
Raúl Moro (2002)
Raul joined Barcelona’s Juvenil B in 2018 and spent there only 1 year, before leaving the club for Lazio. With the Italian club paying a significant fee to achieve his signing. Raul was impressive for Lazio’s Primavera team where he scored 22 goals and picked up 8 assists in 42 games.
Also in his first season there, he made his debut for the first team against Juventus back in 2020. But after playing only a few minutes for the first team, he went out on loan this season, first Ternana, but barely playing there, his loan was terminated. Where his club loaned him out to a La Liga Smartbank club – Real Oviedo. While playing for the Spanish club he managed to pick up 2 assists in just 565 minutes.
With his loan ended, Raul returned to Lazio, but for how long that’s a big question. As per reports Real Oviedo is negotiating to keep Raul at their club.
Joan González (2002)
Joan joined Barcelona’s Juvenil B in 2019 from Cornella. He spent 2 years at the club, before leaving for Leece as his contract expires and he was renewed by the club. During his time in La Masia Joan was playing as a midfielder, however, due to some injuries and the lack of a decent right-back, he was forced to play quite a lot of games on the right side.
When he arrived at Leece Primavera he returned to his original position as midfielder and picked up 8 goals and assists in his first season. He was also called up for their first team but did not manage to debut. In the 22/23 season, he was officially promoted to the first team. Where he played an important role together with Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti in their fight to stay in the Serie A.
He finished the season with 1 goal and 3 assists and accumulated 2258 minutes in his first season at top-level football.
Xavier Mbuyamba (2001)
Xavier joined Juvenil A in 2019 from Maastricht for around €300k. The centre-back, who also at times played as right-back spent only 1 year in La Masia. beforing moving to Chelsea. However, during his time here his physicality, athleticism caught the attention of many and culers were exciting about his future. Upon joining Chelsea’s U23 side he suffered a serious injury that saw him sidelined for most of the season.
Upon his return he managed to score a goal against Southampton. He’s dangerous in the air and good with the ball helped him to end his time with Chelsea’s U23 with 3 goals 2 assists. This season he moved to Eredivisie’s newly promoted FC Volendam.
Xavier had an incredible season scoring 5 goals and picking up an assist. He’s definitely a player to look out for in the next few years.
Adrià Altimira (2001)
Adria joined La Masia at the age of 7. The right-back spend 12 years developing at the club, before leaving in 2020. He joined Croatian side Lokomotiva, but only a few months later he terminated his contract and joined Melilla. After a year at Melilla, he joined Pique’s FC Andorra in the third division. In the 21/22 season, he helped the club get promoted to La Liga Smartbank for the first time in its history.
This season he contributed with 1 goal and 3 assists in the 2nd division of Spain and helped them finish 7th just outside the promotion play off spots to La Liga. His performances caught the attention of Villarreal. The La Liga club signed the right-back that also can play as a winger.
He will be in the dynamics of the first team, but with their B team to accumulate playing time. It will be interesting to see a debut in La Liga in the upcoming seasons.
Ludovit Reis (2000)
Ludovit didn’t play in La Masia, but he did join Barcelona B in 2019 from Groningen for a fee of around €3m. Some consider the subsidiary as part of La Masia, while others consider it as a semi-professional team as they do play at a professional level. The young midfielder did not impress in his first year at the club and soon enough was loaned out to German side Osnabrück. There he didn’t manage to impress picking up just 1 goal and 1 assist in 30 games. However, upon his return the club manage to find a new destination for him – Hamburger.
This is where Ludovit managed to enjoy his best football. The midfielder scored 15 goals and picked up 7 assists for the German side in the last 2 seasons. With 9 goals and 5 assists being in the 22/23 season. Hamburger was looking to fight for promotion to Bundesliga but the loss in the final against Stuttgart, saw them stay in the second division.
There were rumours that Ludovit would be sold, with Barcelona gaining 25% of a future sale. However, just a few days ago Ludovit announced that he would be staying at the club. The summer is long and let’s see if it will stay that way.
Rodri Sánchez (2000)
Rodri spent only 1 season at La Masia and it’s when he joined Cadet B back in 2014. The attacking midfielder who also can play as a winger played in a lot of youth academies like Atletico Madrid, Espanyol, and Deportivo before joining Real Betis in 2016. Making through the ranks, he made his debut for Real Betis first team against Barcelona in 2020 as he replaced Sergio Canales.
Only in the 21/22 season, he was officially promoted to the first team, that season picked up 1 goal and 4 assists in all competitions. While also earning a call-up for Spain U21. This season he finished with 2 goals and 7 assists in all competitions. With the Euro U21 ongoing Rodri Sanchez already impressing at the tournament.
Ricard Sánchez (2000)
Ricard spent 4 years at La Masia as he joined from Gimnàstic de Tarragona in 2013. The fullback left the club as he was deemed not good enough. Therefore, he joined Toledo, before joining Atletico Madrid in 2018. His good performances for Atletico Madrid B earned him a place in Spain U19’s squad that won the Euro’s U19.
In 2020, he was called up to the senior team for a few games. One of which was against Barcelona, but he did not manage to make his La Liga debut for them. At the end of the season he was signed by Granada, but straight away he was loaned out to La Liga Smartbank club Lugo. There he impressed as he played a good season scoring a goal and contributing with 5 assists as a right-back.
Upon his return from loan, Ricard helped Granada to return to La Liga as they won La Liga Smartbank and were crowned Champions of the 2nd division. The player finished the season with 4 goals and 2 assists. Next season it will be interesting to see how he will do in La Liga.
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