Sergi Roberto has been the only La Masia player to cement a spot with the first team in a really long time. Several players have come up from the academy with hype but none managed to stick around long enough to actually earn their place.
The 26-year-old was probably the least hyped player from his time with the likes of Thiago and Rafinha stealing the spotlight in midfield. Roberto is not a specialist. He’s not a dazzling midfielder and definitely not a solid full-back. He isn’t the kind of player that is supposed to make it into our team. In fact, I would go out on a limb and say that much like Martin Montoya, he was destined to play for a midtable side.
Yet, here we are.
Roberto is not someone you will see regularly in the line-up. He will also probably play second fiddle to the rest of the midfielders this season. Even Nelson Semedo has impressed in the friendlies and his chances of starting at right-back are getting better.
Why, then, has Roberto been made the captain? Well, because he’s a man for big moments. Because he doesn’t complain and takes every situation before him while making the most of it. He’s the mediocre guy who managed to crush PSG’s hopes in a CL game that he probably shouldn’t have been a part of.
Roberto has made his own way by challenging the odds. He has established himself as a key cog in a team that’s synonymous with elite players. Roberto is a fighter and while the choice to make him captain may seem odd, I doubt there are better people who deserve to be an example in the locker-room.