There has been much consternation over the state of La Masia and the perilous path youth players dream of walking from Mini Estadi to Camp Nou. The last great Barça B side - which finished 3rd in the 2013/14 Segunda División - contained a plethora of highly-rated youngsters. In five parts, we'll take a look at how players of that year's Barça B squad have fared since then. In part two, we'll review the centrebacks of that squad.
A €1.75m signing from Sporting CP's Alcochete academy in 2012, much was expected from Edgar Ié. The former Portuguese youth international made 13 appearances, providing 1 assist, in 2013/14. He had spent the first half of that season struggling with muscle injuries. Little was seen from Ié since debuting in the Copa del Rey in December 2014 for then-first team coach Tata Martino.
After his release from Barça B, Edgar Ié joined Villarreal B. Released eighteen months after signing a three-year deal, Ié joined Portuguese Primeira Liga outfit Belenenses in December 2016.
Sergi Gómez was regarded as one of the more promising centrebacks during his time in La Masia. Joining La Masia at the age of fourteen, Gómez steadily rose through the age groups. With just a handful of games in his first professional season (2009/10), the Catalan defender gradually became important to the team. He made his first team debut under Pep Guardiola, playing the full ninety minutes in a 3-1 away defeat to Sevilla in the 2010 Spanish Super Cup. In 2013/14, Gómez made 36 appearances, providing 1 assist. Most impressively, he only had 2 yellow cards to his name that season.
With Spain, Gómez was part of the bronze-winning side at the U17 World Cup in 2009, and the U19 side which won the 2011 U19 European Championships. After a lack of first team opportunities, the former Spain youth international left Mini Estadi for Galician side Celta de Vigo in 2014. Sergi Gómez has since established himself as a regular for Celta.
Another product of the partnership with the Samuel Eto'o Foundation, Macky Bagnack joined La Masia in 2008, at the age of thirteen. His promotion to Barça B came ahead of the 2012/13 season. The Cameroonian made 24 appearances in 2013/14, scoring once and incurring 7 yellows, playing a rather major role in the team's defence.
In January 2016, Macky Bagnack rescinded his Barça contract to join French side FC Nantes. After six months in the Nantes reserve side, he returned to Spain, signing for Real Zaragoza in the Segunda División. He is currently a first team squad player in Zaragoza.
Sergio Juste spent seven years with Gimnàstic de Tarragona after leaving La Masia, at the age of ten. His path in football came full circle upon signing for Barça B as a 20-year-old in 2012. His three-year deal included a 12m release clause. Juste missed the whole 2012/13 season through injury. In August 2013, he suffered an ACL tear which mean he ended the campaign with just a handful of minutes and what was his belated debut for Barça B. In August 2014, Juste was named as captain of Barça B despite making one appearance in two years.
Sergio Juste, also known by the moniker Chechi, left Barça B in 2016. He is currently a regular in the Segunda División B with another Catalan side, Hospitalet.
Sergio Ayala was converted by former Masia coach Sergi Barjuan from an attacker to a defender whilst under his tutelage at Juvenil B level. After joining La Masia aged 11 in 2001, Ayala was promoted to Barça B after signing a new contract in 2012. He spent 2012/13 and 2013/14 on loan at Alavés and Valencia Mestalla respectively, playing no part in the achievements of the 2013/14 season with Barça B. He joined Valencia Mestalla on a free transfer after his loan deal ended in 2014. He currently plies his trade for Valencia's B side.
Aged 12, Robert Costa joined La Masia in 2006. After seven years with the various age groups, Costa was promoted to Barça B ahead of the 2013/14 season. He was immediately loaned down a division to Segunda División B side Badalona, hence not featuring a single minute in what was a fantastic season for Barça B. After a lack of progression opportunities at Barça, Robert Costa signed for Celta de Vigo in 2016. He currently plays for Celta B.
Check out part 1 here