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La Masia Graduates: The Ones Who Got Away

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In his latest guest editorial, David Donaldson looks back at a few of the La Masia graduates who failed to live up to expectations, or simply jumped ship before making the first team

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FC Barcelona's very own football training facilities are world renowned and have produced some of the greatest footballing exports the game has ever seen. The famed La Masia coaching academy has meant that Barcelona have been spoilt with an embarrassment of talent over the decades. From the genius of Lionel Messi, whose superstar status is no doubt the inspiration behind the football star online slot, to the defensive brilliance of Gerard Pique, many have gone on to make their mark. However, that's not been the case for all graduates as we reflect on the ones that got away.


In 2011 Spanish winger Isaac Cuenca was getting many people over in Barca very excited when he cracked his way into first team football at the Nou Camp. However it wasn't very long before that exciting promise took a sudden down turn, all thanks to cartilage damage in knee which resulted in Cuenca missing nearly 8 months of playing time. And after such an extended absence he headed to Ajax on loan.


Argentinian star Mauro Icardi currently plays for Internazionale and is enjoying plenty of goal scoring action. At the age of just 15 Barcelona signed him up to their youth team against plenty of interest from other top European sides such as Real Madrid, Liverpool and Arsenal amongst many more. He was one of the stand-out players for the junior side however in 2011 he made the decision to leave Barca for Sampdoria.


Attacking midfielder Victor Vazquez climbed the ladder at Barcelona from the youth team all the way up through the ranks to their A side. However once he had finally made it he only ever ended up making a trio of appearances for the first team before moving to Club Brugge in 2011. It was quite the loss for the Spanish side who had invested 14 years in the youngster.


He made his appearance in the La Masia at the age of 10 and spent 11 years playing for Barcelona. He never made it to a first team appearance during his time with the club thanks to the purchase of some other notable central defenders heading to the Nou Camp. Valiente decided it was time to move on.


This very promising defensive midfielder started his Barcelona youth career aged just 13 and just 7 years later he made the rash move to the Premier League when Chelsea bought him for £4.35 million. He didn't get the chance to make much of a mark for the London side and critics believed the move to be the wrong one for the talented lad who now plays at Southampton.