Not just anyone can play for FC Barcelona. The Catalan club doesn’t only have high standards, but also a particular DNA flowing in the blood of its every player. Playing well isn’t enough. The players must understand the roots and traditions of the club.
Therefore, over the past few years, especially in the era of Pep Guardiola, Barcelona players have special characteristics. These characteristics were stirred at the La Masia academy. That is why the main Barca players are mostly from their own academy products.
When he won the best team in the world in 2010, Barcelona’s main players were filled with the La Masia academy graduates. This makes Barcelona rarely buys high-priced imported players. Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, and Lionel Messi are the best examples of club academy graduates.
Even if importing players is needed, the club always has a target player who can play in the way how Barcelona’s players do. Like David Villa or Neymar.
However, these policies began to erode in the last two-three seasons. As the forces of Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquet are getting older, the club began to regenerate players by importing high-priced players.
Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele can be considered as examples of this policy. At the same time, the talents of the academy products are getting dried up. After Sergi Roberto, there is practically no academy player who broke through the first team.
And the purchase of players began to target unexpected players. In last season, Paulinho, a 29-year-old midfielder from a Chinese club, was brought in. Earlier in this season, it was the turn of 31-year-old Arthuro Vidal to land on the club.
They are not the typical players who will be recruited by Pep Guardiola or Luis Enrique. Besides being too old, a player like Paulinho has a doubtful ability to play wholeheartedly with Barcelona.
Moreover, in January, the club has brought in Kevin Prince Boateng. The fans have never imagined a player, who will be in his 32 years old, will join the club. Just look at the last three club names joined by Boateng: Las Palmas, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Sassuolo. Mediocre clubs that accommodate mediocre players …
According to Marca, Barcelona repeated the 14 years ago history as they used to recruit two players over 30 years old in a season. In the 2004/2005 season, they recruited 32-years-old Henrik Larsson and 33-years-old Demetrio Albertini. Meanwhile, in this season, there are Vidal and Boateng. What a weird season.
All media also put the word “surprise” or “hidden choice” on Boateng’s arrival. So, why did the Barca management even contact Boateng’s agent, who would immediately say “yes”?
Well, Barcelona has just lost Munir El Haddadi. They don’t have a lining striker for Luis Suarez. The club wants to have someone who can contribute since the beginning of the match, yet he does not mind being a substitute player. That person must also be cheap and experienced.
Alvaro Morata has been contacted, but his price is expensive and he is mentally weak. Cristhian Stuani may be a perfect choice, but Barca must spend 15 million euros to get him. Carlos Vela also appeared, but he has settled in the United States.
Judging throughout Europe, it is only Kevin Prince Boateng who fulfills the criteria. Boateng can play as a leading player, even though he is not a natural striker. The clear point is that he can attack more than all players and is mature enough to only be a coating.
Well, from Hertha Berlin to Portsmouth, from Las Palmas to Sassuolo, it ended up at Spain’s biggest club. As he said, Barcelona is an opportunity that will not come twice.