Barcelona Teen Shows Exquisite Touch During UCL Win [WATCH]

Nico Gonzalez

Getty Nico Gonzalez celebrates with his Barcelona teammates.

Barcelona‘s 19-year-old midfielder Nico Gonzalez is enjoying a breakthrough season with the Catalan giants and was named in the starting XI once again for the team’s 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League.

Nico almost got on the scoresheet too but saw an effort blocked by teammate Memphis Depay in Ukraine. However, he did also catch the eye with a moment of real magic when he nonchalantly controlled a long ball out of defense, as shown by Masian.

Tuesday’s win was Nico’s 10th appearance of the season for Barcelona in all competitions, and his presence in the starting XI allowed the Catalans to set a new Champions League record, as shown by Opta.

The three players were part of seven homegrown stars to start the match, alongside Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Oscar Mingueza, and Eric Garcia. Barcelona also brought on La Masia graduates Ronald Araujo and Alejandro Balde in the second half.

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Praise For ‘Stratospheric’ Nico

Former Barcelona B coach Francisco Javier García Pimienta knows Nico well from his time in charge of the reserve team and has been full of praise for the 19-year-old midfielder.

García Pimienta told Diario Sport that he is confident the youngster can follow in the footsteps of captain Sergio Busquets and have a huge impact at the Camp Nou.

“He is very strong mentally and I am clear that he will mark an era at Barça as Sergio Busquets has done,” he said. “His last season at Barca B was stratospheric and at the club we have always been clear that he was one of the chosen ones, he was always one of the outstanding figures of his generation.”

The former Barca B coach also said he hoped that Busquets, who turned 33 in July, can help the youngster to develop at the Camp Nou before he finally decides to hang up his boots.

“I hope that Busquets still takes a couple of years to retire and teach Nico more things. He is always willing to learn,” he said. “He has it all. He is good tactically, he is always well positioned, he is right-footed but uses both feet, breaks lines, reads games well.”


Barcelona’s Midfield Packed Full of Talent

Nico’s emergence this season means that Barcelona’s midfield is packed full of exciting young talent. Pedri has already become a regular in the team despite only being 18, while 17-year-old Gavi has also made the breakthrough this season.

The three teenagers join Busquets and Frenkie de Jong in the squad, while Riqui Puig is also an option and will be hoping he can stake a claim for regular minutes now Ronald Koeman has departed.

Club legend Xavi is expected to replace the Dutchman at the helm and will need to nurture Barca’s young talent carefully in order that the players can reach their potential at the Camp Nou.

Club chiefs are currently in Qatar aiming to finalize a deal for Xavi. The former midfielder has admitted he wants to head home and that it would be an “exciting step” in his career.

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