Puig, Alena show that Barcelona’s La Masia academy is still alive – FanSided

Now that Real Madrid’s younger players are performing oh so beautifully, there were questions being asked about Barcelona’s La Masia academy of late.

Barcelona’s famous academy called La Masia has been one of the world’s best and most promising breeding grounds for young football players. The likes of Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi were all based out of La Masia in their younger years and made way into the senior teams later on.

Among those who have gone out, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Thiago Alcantara are some of the most prominent names. However, in the last few years, the La Masia academy has gone under the shadow of Real Madrid’s La Fabrica and the policies in the offices of the arch rivals, Real Madrid and Barcelona, have seemingly reversed.

Real Madrid are trusting its Castilla and La Fabrica players to be part of the first team and signing younger players, whereas Barcelona seem to not be paying much heed to the output coming from La Masia and are a lot more centered with bringing in players from outside at hefty price tags over the last few years.

But all those criticisms and woes regarding the remarkable Barcelona academy could be put side after the recent promise that Barcelona’s youngsters have shown, particularly with Ricard ‘Riqui’ Puig impressing and getting dubbed as the ‘next Andres Iniesta’ and Carles Alena also getting promotion into the first team. Not to mention, central defender Chumi Brandariz has also been getting called up by Ernesto Valverde on regular instances.

As a matter of fact, no less than six players who started against Cultural Leon on last Wednesday’s Copa del Rey match were still players of the youth side. On the other hands, Oriol Busquets’ recent displays at defensive midfield may have helped Barcelona in finding a successor to Sergio Busquets, while Carles Alena is turning up big.

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In conclusion, do not be deceived by the fact that La Masia has been a little off-balance in the last few years. It is still an extremely budding academy and the stars being churned out till date are showing great promise.

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