Once again, under pressure, Xavi turns to Lamasia teenagers Pau Cubarsi and Lamine Yamal to bail him out at a must-win away fixture at the Benito Villamarin to keep La Liga title hopes alive.
Xavi’s move to include the two teenagers in his starting lineup was a bold move that raised a few eyebrows. The Lamasia kids took the challenge, proving they were ready for first-team football. Yamal and Cubarsi played an instrumental role in the 4-2 win against Real Betis.
Yamal was a constant headache for the Betis defense with his intelligent runs, decision-making, vision, and overall quality on the ball, which is astounding coming from a 16-year-old. Yamal’s defensive contribution in the match was also incredible.
The game against Real Betis, Pau Cubarsi’s last day as a 16-year-old, was memorable. Pau Cubarsi made a flawless debut in La Liga, and his composure was remarkable for a 16-year-old playing at this level. Watching the teenager play it’s easy to assume that he is a regular starter for the first team.
The teenager made a brilliant tackle in the second half to deny Real Betis a clear chance at goal. Besides, Our 2nd goal was rooted in Pau Cubarsi’s excellent threaded vertical pass to Frankie, bisecting Real Betis initial press. Even some of the most experienced center-backs in a similar situation would’ve chosen the safer horizontal pass; Cubarsi didn’t.
After the match, Xavi was full of praise for the duo, tipping them to mark an era at the club.
Xavi said that Cubarsi is very well prepared and doesn’t seem 16 when one speaks with him. He added that he is a focused and responsible kid. I don’t think he lost a single ball, either,” he said.
Xavi predicts that Cubarsi and Yamal will mark an era and said that he will continue to build a team with young footballers because the club’s future rests on the young players.
All Barcelona fans should be proud of Lamasia as an academy. It’s unique in football and admirable that the Barcelona academy keeps churning out young talent of outstanding quality. No other academy except Ajax can consistently produce young talent of this quality.