Barcelona arguably have the perfect academy on this planet, with a complete host of world-class gamers coming by means of the ranks at La Masia over time. But how did their 15 wonderkids from Football Manager 2012 get on in actual life?
Current supervisor Xavi, and legends akin to Carlos Puyol, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and naturally Lionel Messi all graduated from the academy, and even now the likes of Gavi and Ansu Fati all look set to comply with in these footsteps.
When FM 2012 was launched, Barcelona’s success at bringing by means of youth meant that their squad was filled with ‘wonderkids’, with FM Scout choosing out the perfect 15. We had a take a look at who made the grade and who light into obscurity.
Once mooted as a promising younger goalkeeper who could possibly be the following Victor Valdes, Pol Balleste is a type of who by no means lived as much as hype, failing to make a single look for Barcelona, earlier than touring across the decrease divisions in Spain.
Now 26, Balleste finds himself within the fourth division, enjoying for UD Melilla.
Bartra really discovered his means into the Barcelona first workforce following the departure of Carlos Puyol, and began with actual promise, however his profession has had its peaks and troughs.
Bartra moved onto Borussia Dortmund, the place he was significantly affected when the workforce bus fell sufferer to a terrorist assault shortly earlier than a Champions League knockout recreation. Now 31, Bartra performs for Real Betis, the place he’s been a strong performer below Manuel Pellegrini
Gareth Bale can take the credit score for successfully ending Bartra’s Barcelona profession, after completely destroying him within the 2014 Copa Del Rey ultimate.
Eight years on he’s lifted the King’s Cup with Betis. Good for him.
Gareth Bale turns 32 in the present day 🎈
Never neglect when he ran previous Marc Bartra within the Copa del Rey Final ⚡️
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 16, 2021
Another centre-back, Sergi Gomez was a extremely regarded 18-year previous in FM 2012, however didn’t play in a single league recreation for the membership.
Nevertheless, he has solid an honest profession for himself, choosing up a Europa League winners medal at Sevilla in 2020, earlier than finishing a transfer to Barcelona’s different membership Espanyol final summer time.
The left-sided centre again is without doubt one of the extra unfortunate gamers on the record. As one of the vital extremely rated defenders within the academy, Muniesa was on the verge of breaking into the primary workforce when he suffered a severe knee damage which saved him out for many of the season.
In 2013, Muniesa accomplished a shock transfer to Stoke City to hyperlink up with ex-Barca striker Mark Hughes, earlier than ultimately returning to Catalunya with Girona. The Spaniard now performs in Qatar for Al-Arabi.
Going from the sunny Barcelona seashore to a moist and windy Stoke, one can solely speculate about whether or not he regrets his profession selections.
Martin Montoya got here by means of as a backup for Dani Alves at right-back, and did properly for some time, earlier than leaving on mortgage to Inter Milan and Real Betis.
The central midfielder was touted as the following Sergio Busquets, together with his wonderful passing and imaginative and prescient drawing many admirers while within the B workforce.
However, he failed to interrupt into the workforce, and after a couple of mortgage spells, terminated his contract to maneuver to Japan the place, now aged 27, he performs with Andres Iniesta at Vissel Kobe.
Espinosa failed to interrupt into the Barcelona midfield, and moved to Villarreal on a free switch in 2014. However, the Spaniard continued to battle, and was ultimately loaned out and launched. After a couple of extra loans, Espinosa now performs in Cyprus for AEK Larnaca.
The solely participant on this record nonetheless enjoying for Barcelona, Sergi Roberto, like his age-mates, initially discovered it robust to interrupt into arguably the perfect midfield of all time. However, Roberto’s versatility got here in useful, as he discovered a path into the workforce as a utility right-back.
Roberto grew to become an everyday first-teamer, with over 200 appearances for the membership in each midfield and full-back, and can eternally be remembered in Barcelona folklore for *that* purpose in opposition to Paris Saint-Germain within the well-known remontada.
But there are query marks over Roberto’s future, together with his present contract set to run out in the summertime. The newest stories counsel he’ll signal a brand new take care of a 50% pay minimize imminently.
On today, 2017:
Sergi Roberto accomplished Barcelona’s epic 6-1 comeback in opposition to PSG 👀pic.twitter.com/1SEAMZMjcS
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 8, 2019
With no senior appearances, the midfielder left Barcelona B to signal for Real Madrid B. He later grew to become a starter at Alaves, earlier than incomes a transfer to Watford within the Premier League, the place he stays an everyday participant.
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) November 21, 2019
The largest success story from this group, Thiago was extremely rated at Barcelona, however with Xavi, Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas forward of him, a beginning spot was arduous to come back by.
Moving to Bayern Munich in 2013 was a masterstroke, as he grew to become a vital participant for seven seasons, successful each trophy on provide, earlier than becoming a member of Liverpool as a bona fide celebrity final yr.
Barcelona actually remorse this one… La Masia’s most technically gifted midfielder since Xavi?
One of the highest-rated wingers within the academy on the time, Deulofeu has had a comparatively unusual profession path.
With two separate spells at Barcelona, in addition to two separate spells at Everton, the Spaniard even made it into the Spain squad, successful 4 caps for his nation.
After a reasonably profitable interval at Watford, Deulofeu, now 28, finds himself on the Pozzo’s sister membership Udinese in Serie A.
Despite scoring some unimaginable objectives alongside the way in which, relegation battles will not be what appeared destined for Deulofeu, who would have imagined spending his prime as an integral member of the Barcelona squad again in 2012.
This purpose won’t ever get previous 😱
More FA Cup magic from Gerard Deulofeu tomorrow? 🐝pic.twitter.com/xWfsY2wmln
— GOAL (@purpose) May 17, 2019
Another La Masia product turned journeyman, Cuenca would go on to play for seven completely different golf equipment after leaving Barcelona. He is at present injured, after spending final season in Japan’s prime flight with Vegalta Sendai.
The brother of Thiago Alcantara, Rafinha opted to play for Brazil as a substitute of Spain, and has had a comparatively good profession regardless of common damage issues.
Currently on mortgage at Real Sociedad after warming the bench at PSG, he had two profitable spells at Celta Vigo, in addition to spending time at Inter Milan on mortgage. A gifted playmaker, he’ll, sadly, must stay within the shadow of his older brother.
One of the perfect younger abilities on this planet when breaking by means of, Bojan was broadly thought-about to be the following Lionel Messi.
As a small, technical ahead, the comparisons appeared apparent, and the Spaniard destined for greatness. However, he fell sufferer to damage, and after failing to rediscover his type, frolicked out on mortgage throughout Europe.
He ended up at Stoke, the place he was spectacular regardless of being the antithesis of what Stoke are all about, however regardless possesses a Champions League medal.
Bojan famously thought he had scored a late winner within the Champions League semi ultimate to ship Barcelona by means of, however the purpose was inexplicably disallowed. His profession may have panned out so in another way if it stood…
Like a couple of of his previous classmates, Bojan now performs within the Japanese prime flight with Vissel Kobe.
Jean Marie Dongou
With one Copa Del Rey purpose in Barcelona colors to his identify, Jean Marie Dongou was one more wonderkid who ended up within the wilderness.
Despite turning right into a world beater on FM 2012, the Cameroonian at present performs for Spanis lower-league outfit Zamora CF, having spent a spell within the Finnish Veikkausliiga. Not fairly Samuel Eto’o.