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Can Barcelona’s UEFA Youth League champions make the step up?

Chelsea FC v FC Barcelona - UEFA Youth League Final Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images

Barcelona are UEFA Youth League champions after beating Chelsea to lift the trophy on Monday in Nyon.

It’s a big boost for La Masia and the club will be hoping some of the players can step up and make the grade.

Barcelona famously named a team without a La Masia graduate for the first time in 16 years against Celta Vigo recently and there’s been a real lack of homegrown players making the breakthrough.

The club have also seen prospects such as Jordi Mboula and Sergio Gomez leave but can any of the current crop make the step up? Let’s have a look.

Abel Ruiz

Manchester City v FC Barcelona - UEFA Youth League Semi Final Photo by Monika Majer/Getty Images

Striker Abel Ruiz set up Barcelona’s first and scored the third in Monday’s final and is probably the best-known of the club’s young prospects.

The 18-year-old has already starred for Spain at Under-17 level, helping them win the European Championship last year and finish as runners-up at the World Cup.

He’s also tasted first-team action this season as he came on as a substitute in Barcelona’s Supercopa de Catalunya win over Espanyol in March.

Riqui Puig

Riqui Puig played superbly in the final as he bossed the midfield and the hype surrounding the teenager is starting to grow.

He’s managed to break into the Barcelona B team this season and has also been called up to train with the first team.

Mateu Morey

The right-back has already attracted interest from elsewhere with Bayern Munich linked with a move last summer.

Barcelona managed to hang onto him and he’s had another good season and will hope he can break into the B team now Garcia Pimienta is in charge.

He’s a typical Barcelona full-back, loves going forward, has an eye for goal and is four years younger than Sergi Palencia who he may oust from the B team.

Juan Miranda

Chelsea FC v FC Barcelona - UEFA Youth League Final Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images

On the opposite flank Juan Miranda is also a real prospect and has played seven times for Barcelona B this season.

Like Puig he’s also trained with the first team this season and featured in the Supercopa de Catalunya.

At just over six foot it’s difficult to compare him to Jordi Alba, but like the Barca star he is a real attacking threat.

There are plenty other promising options in the team too. Goalkeeper Inaki Pena is reportedly viewed as the long-term replacement for Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Winger Carles Perez was the top scorer in the UEFA Youth League with seven goals in nine matches, while Alejandro Marqués scored twice in the final and also grabbed goals in the quarters and the semi.

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