At the weekend something different happened in the footballing world and it saw Barcelona field 11 youth players in their 4-0 victory away at Levante.
Although they didn’t start with all 11 players from their youth academy, when Dani Alves got injured, it saw Martin Montoya replace him, which left the Spanish giants with a complete team with every single player coming up from their academy.
The side was:Victor Valdes, Martin Montoya, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Pedro, Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas.
Despite Lionel Messi being born in Argentina and Iniesta being born closer to Madrid, all of the players were brought up and trained in Barcelona’s academy, better known as La Masia.
It is also well known that three of them left Barcelona to get first-team action elsewhere. Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique flew off to England to play for Arsenal and Man United respectively. As for Jordi Alba, he went to Valencia to get more first-team football, but clearly, they have all returned back to where they started.
The current generation from La Masia is clearly a very talented bunch of players but there have also been a few more players come from the academy. The likes of; Jordi Cruyff, Pepe Reina (Now at Liverpool), Mikel Arteta (Now at Arsenal) and Thiago Motta (Now at Paris Saint-Germaine).
After hearing about Barcelona’s amazing achievement of fielding all 11 youth players, Sportsmail decided to look into how many youths were fielded in the Premier League. As you would expect, no teams came close to Barcelona.
The Full List:
Manchester United (4) – Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes, Danny Welbeck, Jonny Evans
Newcastle United (4) – Tim Krul, Steven Taylor, Shane Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi
Aston Villa (3) – Ciaran Clark, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Marc Albrighton
Liverpool (2) – Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling*
Southampton (2) – Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana
Tottenham Hotspur (2) – Steven Caulker, Jake Livermore
West Ham United (2) – James Tomkins, Mark Noble
Arsenal (1) – Kieran Gibbs
Everton (1) – Leon Osman
Reading (1) – Hal Robson-Kanu
Stoke City (1) – Ryan Shotton
Sunderland (1) – Jack Colback
Swansea City (1) – Ben Davies
As for Chelsea, Fulham, Manchester City, Queens Park Rangers, West Bromwich Albion and Wigan Athletic, none of them fielded any players from their youth system
* Raheem Sterling was on Queens Park Rangers’ card at the beginning of his career, but he then spent two years in Liverpool’s academy.
Alex William Batt