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Getting To Know: Martín Montoya

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Full name: Martín Montoya Torralbo
Squad No: 19
Position: Right-back
Date of birth: 14 April 1991
Place of birth: Gavà, Spain
Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight: 74 kg (163 lbs)

Martin Montoya was born in Gavà, located just a couple miles southwest of Barcelona, and quickly started playing football for FC Barcelona. At the age of just eight Montoya joined the famed La Masia and since 1999 made his way though the academy's youth systems. Nine years later, in 2008, he reached the club's highest youth level, the Juvenil A, and even made his Barcelona B debut the same year.

Next season Montoya officially joined the B team and immediately became a key member of Luis Enrique's team that won a promotion to the Segunda División. During Montoya's three year Barça B stint the young right-back often trained with the first team. He made his first team debut as a substitute against RCD Mallorca on 26 February 2011. Last season Montoya scored his first Barcelona goal, coincidentally his first professional goal, against BATE Borisov in the UEFA Champions League.

In three seasons, under two coaches, Montoya made 75 appearances for Barcelona B without scoring a single goal. After the 2011-12 season he was officially promoted to Barcelona's first team. Montoya has so far made 13 first team appearances, scoring one goal and assisting on one.

Montoya currently has two years left on his Barcelona contract that includes a €20 million buy-out clause.

Montoya represented Spain at every youth level, from U-17 to U-23. He had most success at the U-21 level where was a member of the starting XI of a team that won the U-21 European Championship. He also represented Spain at the 2012 Olympic games. Montoya was called up the senior team for two games, but he has not yet made an appearance for Vicente Del Bosque's and La Furia Roja.

Profile
Martín Montoya is a hard working right-back who possesses good offensive instincts. Defensively he is very solid with good tackling and positioning skills. Montoya resembles a "modern" full-back as, if the game allows it, he will be more involved in attack than on defense. His passing is nearly flawless as he possesses the accuracy, range and vision many playmakers don't, and his crossing accuracy is also very good, but his dribbling could use some work. As is the case with many attacking full-backs Montoya can also get caught out of position on counters, but the young defender has the good speed that allows him to return to his defensive duties quickly.

Honors
FC Barcelona

  • La Liga (1): 2010-11

  • Copa del Rey (1): 2011-12

Spain

  • UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship (1): 2012

Next up: Marc Bartra