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Top 10 La Masia graduates of all time

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La Masia
Top 10 La Masia graduates of all time. Photo/ The Sun.
  • Barcelona’s famed youth academy is arguably the best place in the world to develop young players
  • The academy, La Masia, has produced World Cup winners, Champions League winners and, of course, a Ballon d’Or winner
  • Lionel Messi is arguably the best player to come out of Barcelona’s youth academy

FC Barcelona’s famed youth academy, La Masia, is arguably the best place in the world to develop young players. The academy is a production line for quality footballers that usually succeed at Barca, allowing the Catalans to be one of the best clubs in the world.

The Catalan youth academy has produced World Cup winners, Champions League winners and, of course, a Ballon d’Or winner. Here, we take a look at supremely talented stars who have carved out impressive careers after graduating from La Masia.

10. Victor Valdes 

Victor Valdes was one of the best goalkeepers in the world at the peak of his career. Starting his career at Barca’s academy, he emerged as a genuine contender for a first-team spot between the sticks following the departure of Pepe Reina in 2002. He claimed the job during the 2003-04 season and what followed was years of success with the Catalans.

Victor Valdes

Victor Valdes. Photo/

Valdes won numerous trophies, including the Champions League three times, before leaving Barcelona for Manchester United in 2014. He ended his career in 2018 after a spell at Middlesbrough.

9. Cesc Fabregas 

Cesc Fabregas began his football journey at La Masia but left in 2003 at the age of 16. He built his reputation at Arsenal where he emerged as one of the best young midfielders in Europe. Fabregas was Arsenal’s captain at the age of 21, but later returned to Barcelona where he won eight trophies between 2011 and 2014. The former Spain international then had spells at Chelsea, Monaco and Como before retiring earlier this year.

8. Guillermo Amor 

The name Guillermo Amor may not be familiar with many fans since he is from the old generation. Amor played as a midfielder and began his career at Barca’s academy before becoming a star for the senior side from 1988 to 1998. He spent the last years of his career playing for Fiorentina, Villareal and Livingston before hanging his boots.

7. Gerard Pique 

Gerard Pique’s case is similar to that of Cesc Fabregas, as he started his football journey at La Masia before being lured to England where he joined Manchester United. After starting his senior career with the Red Devils, Pique returned to Barcelona where he spent the rest of his football career and won numerous titles. Pique made 674 appearances for Barca and won the La Liga, UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey, at least three times each.

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique. Photo/ FC Barcelona.

6. Pep Guardiola

Arguably the best manager in the world right now, Pep Guardiola has won it all managing Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. But it was at Barcelona where he started his football journey as a 13-year-old before breaking into the senior team. He went on to play 479 matches and won numerous titles before leaving in 2001.

5. Sergio Busquets 

For several years, Sergio Busquets was one of the key players in Barcelona’s midfield. So composed, intelligent and press-resistant, Busquets established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world. All the ball knowledge he has is thanks to the coaches at Barcelona’s academy who nurtured him. He is currently playing for MLS club Inter Miami alongside former teammates at Barca Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba.

4. Andres Iniesta 

With Andres Iniesta on the list, it’s fair to say La Masia has a knack for producing outstanding midfielders. It was always joy watching Iniesta at Barcelona, where he won numerous titles and individual awards. The 39-year-old currently plays for UAE club Emirates and will go down in history as one of the best players the football world has ever seen.

Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta. Photo/ Sky Sports.

3. Carles Puyol

Nicknamed The Shark, Carles Puyol was a fierce defender who could do anything to stop his team from conceding. He also had the characteristics of a leader, which is why he wore the armband at Barcelona for ten years. He ended his career in 2014 as one of the best defenders the football world has ever seen. Just like the other names on this list Puyol started his career at Barcelona’s academy.

2. Xavi Hernandez 

It seems Xavi was born to be a Barcelona legend. Starting his career at La Masia, he went on to become a midfield maestro with the senior team winning a mindblowing 32 trophies. From dribbling, technical quality and vision to intelligence, Xavi had it all. He is currently the manager of Barcelona and guided the team to win La Liga last season.

1. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi. Photo/ Eurosport.

There is no way Lionel Messi was going to miss on the list of the best Barcelona academy graduates. Messi emerged from La Masia during the 2003-04 season and became Barca’s undisputed talisman. The Argentine has won it all, from the Champions League, La Liga and French League to the World Cup. With eight Ballon d’Ors, he is arguably the greatest footballer in history.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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