Barcelona Teen ‘Won Over’ Teammates in Tunnel Bust-Up: Report


Getty Ilaix Moriba is mobbed by Barca teammates after his goal against Osasuna

Barcelona teenager Ilaix Moriba has forced his way into the first-team reckoning at the Camp Nou this season and has also impressed his team-mates with his attitude and actions off the pitch.

The dressing room has taken to the 18-year-old because of his intelligence and “big personality” and appreciate how he has found his place in the squad with a “mix of humility and character,” according to Diario Sport.

One incident, in particular, stands out. Moriba “got involved” in a tunnel bust-up after Barcelona’s La Liga win over Sevilla in February. Sevilla players, including center-back Diego Carlos, clashed with senior Barca stars, and Moriba joined in “without thinking twice” and was not intimidated by taking on bigger and older players.

The report adds that Moriba’s “gesture did not go unnoticed in the dressing room” and ensured he was quickly “included in the first-team squad’s Whatsapp group.” Moriba has played six times for Barca this season, picking up two assists and scoring once.

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Barca Prefer Moriba to Wijnaldum?

Moriba’s rise this season has been one of the bright spots of the club’s campaign. Coach Ronald Koeman has been happy to throw the youngster into the fray and has been rewarded by some impressive performances.

Barcelona is now keen to keep hold of the youngster and has made a contract renewal a top priority, according to Mundo Deportivo. The teenager’s current deal expires in the summer of 2022.

The report adds that Moriba’s emergence may also mean Barca decide against bringing in Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum this summer. Koeman is keen for the Dutchman to join the squad, but the club is more concerned with tying up Moriba’s future.

If Moriba is officially promoted to the first-team squad next season, as expected, it seems difficult to see where Wijnaldum would fit in. Moriba would join midfielders Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, Riqui Puig, and Miralem Pjanic in the squad.

Moriba Impresses Goalkeepers Ter Stegen & Neto

Moriba also seems to have impressed goalkeepers Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Neto since joining the first-team squad. The stoppers have been surprised by the quality he’s shown when shooting at goal, according to Mundo Deportivo’s Ferran Martinez.

The midfielder has already demonstrated his quality in front of goal on the pitch when he opened his account for the club in the win over Osasuna in La Liga.

Martinez reports that Moriba is already loved by his Barcelona team-mates who “see him as a player with a lot of personality, but humble and hard-working.”

There’s no doubt that Moriba’s emergence this season has excited fans and he appears to have a huge future ahead of him at the Camp Nou. The midfielder looks ready to play a key role for many years to come and is part of a raft of talented young players making their mark with the Catalan giants this season.

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