A Home-Grown Eleven
This season, the first team will have eleven players that came up through the club’s youth system. The power of the Barça youth system is more evident than ever. Guardiola often fields around six or seven local players in a game, whether at El Molinón or in the Champions League final. The doors to the first team are wide open to players fostered at the club itself. Thiago and Fontàs have both just become fully-fledged first team members.
This year there are an unprecedented 11 players from La Masia out of a total of 21. These aren’t reserves used as a complement, these are first team players in every sense of the word.
It is years since the team has had so many of its own players to choose from, and although some players would have to play in unfamiliar positions, Guardiola could theoretically play them all at once:
Puyol and Fontàs (fullbacks)
Busquets and Piqué (centre-back)
Xavi, Thiago and Cesc (midfield)
Pedro, Messi and Iniesta (forward).
La Masia Products in Recent Years
Season 2010/11: Valdés, Piqué, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Bojan, Messi, Jeffren, Busquets & Pedro.
Season 2009/10: Valdés, Piqué, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Bojan, Busquets and Pedro.
Season 2008/09: Valdés, Piqué, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Bojan, Busquets and Jorquera.
Season 2007/08: Valdés, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Giovanni, Messi, Oleguer, Bojan and Jorquera.
Season 2006/07: Valdés, Motta, Puyol, Xavi, Messi, Oleguer, Iniesta and Jorquera.
Season 2005/06: Valdés, Motta, Puyol, Xavi, Gabri, Oleguer, Iniesta and Jorquera.
Season 2004/05: Valdés, Motta, Puyol, Xavi, Gerard, Oleguer, Iniesta and Jorquera.
Season 2003/04: Valdés, Puyol, Xavi, Gerard, Gabri, Luis Garcia, Motta and Jorquera.