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Champions League win shows La Masia is always the solution for Barcelona

SportsChampions League win shows La Masia is always the solution for Barcelona


You can always rely on La Masia to come good when Barcelona need it.

If everything else is crumbling, the academy graduates always appear to stand tall, and they did so again against Napoli.

How often in the past have they propped up the club, and in the match against the Partnopei on Tuesday night, there were some standout performances.

Pau Cubarsi is a phenomenon. No doubt about it. What a 90 minutes the 17-year-old had up against the likes of Victor Osimhen.

Barely putting a foot wrong all night against some top quality opposition shows that, injuries permitting, he’s not going anywhere.

Fermin Lopez, though he tired towards the end, showed his ability to be in the right place at the right time once again.

FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24

Photo by Pedro Salado/Getty Images

His industry throughout is a lesson to any other young player coming through that talent will only get you so far. It’s the hard work and dedication on the training pitch which elevates you above your contemporaries.

Fermin certainly can’t be faulted for effort on the night, and his finish to open the scoring was sublime.

Lamine Yamal continues to impress and though commentators and occasional watchers may still comment on his age, the fact that there’s now an expectation that he will start each game means that his 16 years has become something of an irrelevance.

Against Napoli the youngster showed once again why the Blaugranes are so excited for the future, though with Pedri sitting in the stands and Ansu Fati hardly ripping up the Premier League with Brighton and Hove Albion, there’s two perfect examples of why Barca need to pull back a little in terms of his development.

Though he’s the elder statesman of the bunch, Sergi Roberto gets a well deserved pat on the back too.

He came on and helped change the game, not only setting up the third for Robert Lewandowski, but dictating play from his attacking midfield berth.

If this season is to be his swansong at the club, he showed that he still has what it takes to play in – and be decisive in – the most important matches of the season.

After this cameo, the Barca hierarchy might actually want to think again as to whether they want to offload one of their most loyal servants of the past decade.

At least, after years of dropping out of European competition far too early, Barcelona can now look forward to a quarter-final which means they’re just a few games from another Wembley date.



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