Getting To Know: Marc Bartra

MALAGA, SPAIN - MAY 21: Bartra (L) of Barcelona competes for the ball with Juanmi of Malaga during the La Liga match between Malaga and Barcelona at La Rosaleda Stadium on May 21, 2011 in Malaga, Spain. Barcelona won 3-1. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Full name: Marc Bartra Aregall
Squad No: 15
Position: Centre-back
Date of birth: 15 January 1991
Place of birth: Sant Jaume dels Domenys, Spain
Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight: 70 kg (154 lbs)

Born in a small town of Sant Jaume dels Domenys, located 75 km (46 miles) west of Barcelona, Marc Bartra started playing youth football at RCD Espanyol in 2001. Next season, however, he took his talents further up the C-32 highway to the Camp Nou and Espanyol's biggest rival, FC Barcelona.

Bartra started his Barça career with the Alevín A section and he steadily progressed through Infantil and Juvenil teams before he was promoted to Barcelona B at the age of 18. There he immediately became a key member of the starting XI and helped the team win a promotion to the Segunda División. The coaches were so impressed with Bartra's leadership abilities he even had the privilege (and responsibility) of wearing the captains armband.

In Bartra's first year of professional football, the 2009-10 season, he already made his first team debut, in the Spanish league as a substitute against Atlético Madrid. He spent three seasons as an official member of the Barça B and during that time he made 81 appearances and scored two goals.

During those three years he also featured in eight games for the first team and even scored his first senior goal, on 21 May 2011 against Málaga CF. Bartra was officially promoted to the first team prior the 2012-13 season. Bartra's current contract runs out in 2015. The contract also includes a €30 million buy-out clause.

Bartra started playing international football at the U-18 level for Spain in 2009 and has also appeared at the U-19, U-20 and U-21 levels. The majority of his international appearances came with the U-19 team (11 of 27), but his only two international goals have been scored at U-21. Bartra is still waiting for his first La Furia Roja call-up but he has made one appearance with the Catalan national team.

Bartra is a commanding centre-back with good tackling skills. His positioning sense isn't bad but with experience it should get even better. His good athletic abilities and physical attributes allow him to be a threat in the air game. Bartra can also make the occasional appearance at right-back, but he profiles much better as centre-back due to lack of elite speed. Bartra performs well under pressure and for a defender he has exceptional technique.

FC Barcelona

  • La Liga (2): 2009-10, 2010-11

  • Copa del Rey (1): 2011-12

  • UEFA Champions League (1): 2010-11

Next up: Jonathan Dos Santos

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