The last Barcelona starting line-up with no club’s youth products happened on 6 April 2002 in a LaLiga clash at Athletic Club.
Against Celta, the Catalans once again lined up with no La Masia graduates. It proves that the minority of Barcelona first-team players are the club’s own youth products (31% to be precise).
Only SEVEN players out of 24 are La Masia graduates: Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Aleix Vidal, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi.
All of them were rested against Celta. Busquets, Pique and Messi have been playing through the pain, while Iniesta and Vidal are expected to leave the club in summer. Only Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto are both young and qualified enough to form a new homegrown spine for Barcelona.
Who will come next? Carles Alena and maybe Abel Ruiz and Miranda are qualified enough to break into the senior squad from the reserves team. Moreover, Barcelona academy are no longer promoting their own players, they keep signing youngsters from elsewhere. A bad sign?
Barcelona, vice-president Jordi Mestre believes it is almost impossible to repeat the generation of Iniesta, Pique, Busquets and Messi. Furthermore, the demands of the senior team are too high for the youngsters. As a result, Barcelona graduates go abroad to shine elsewhere.