La Masia, where Xavi Hernandez grew up, is widely considered as the world’s most prestigious youth institution. Previously, the Barça academy was well-known for producing world-class players. Surprisingly, rather being declining in status and quality, it appears to have simply gotten better.
With names such as 7-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, World Cup winners Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, and Sergio Busquets being only a few of the stars La Masia has produced over the years, the quality of the academy becomes clear. Even more impressively, the influx of talented youngsters only seems to be multiplying.
Xavi was even asked about the academy during his most recent pre-match press conference, which SPORT noted. The Barcelona coach, who had previously graduated from La Masia, had nothing but great things to say.
La Masia at its peak
The Barcelona coach was asked if this current version and batch of La Masia is the finest in its history. Xavi did not even hesitate before agreeing and providing further evidence to back that claim:
“Yes, it’s probably at its peak. La Masia has always been part of the best Barça teams in history; it has contributed immensely, especially in our recent period.”
Reliance on the academy
He further elaborated on just how evident this was as well. Despite the significant injuries at Barcelona right now, much of the damage has been covered due to La Masia’s aid.
“Out of the twenty players included in the squad, eleven are from La Masia. And if you count Oriol Romeu, it’s twelve. There are a lot of people developed in-house.”
Xavi feels honored
Most importantly, Xavi even seems proud of this new crop of players. Given that many of them will be the future generation to lead Barcelona forward, Xavi considers it an “honor” to be able to witness their development:
“This incoming generation is very talented. It’s an honor that they are trained so well; they are players with the potential to be part of the first team at Barça, and we have to make the most of it. Moreover, they have an extra level of commitment and dedication. Welcome it is.”
Several of these youth stars may even get a chance to feature against Shakhtar Donetsk. With the squad list already released for the Champions League encounter, many B-list players have been included for the match at the Montjuic Stadium.