Jordi Alba is the first new FC Barcelona incorporation for the 2012/13 season. Signed from Valencia, his background is strikingly similar to that of four other players he’ll be sharing a dressing room with this year. Those are Gerard Piqué, Cesc Fàbregas, Cristian Tello and Isaac Cuenca, who all grew up at Barça, signed for another club, but came back home later. Here we look at the other four examples.
Gerard Piqué: A product of the Barça youth system, he played at every level before going to Manchester United in the summer of 2004. He was there for three years (2004-06 to 2007/08), spending some time at Zaragoza in between (2006/07). In 2008 he came back to FC Barcelona and is now a regular starter in the centre of defence.
Cesc Fàbregas: Like Piqué, Cesc came up through the youth ranks at FC Barcelona until 2003, when he also went to England, to Arsenal, where he spent eight successful seasons and became captain of the Gunners. In, 2011 he returned to Barça and helped the team to four trophies in his first season.
Cristian Tello: At FCB from 2002 to 2007, he left Barça on loan to Damm for one season. After that he spent two years at Espanyol, before FC Barcelona decided to bring him back in the summer of 2010. Now playing for Barça B, he has also featured in several first team games under Josep Guardiola.
Isaac Cuenca: Cuenca has come and gone more than anybody. He was in the FCB Infantil and Cadet ranks from 2003 to 2006, and then spent three seasons with Damm and Reus. In 2009/10 he was back in Barça’s Juvenil A team, but in 2010/11 went off on loan to Sabadell. His performances convinced his original club to bring him back home, and he is now a member of the first team squad.