No Notifications to show at the moment. Check back later!
La Masia has an African champion. Keita Baldé, who spent six years learning the Barça values in his time in its youth system from 2004 to 2010, has helped get Senegal’s name written in the annals of history. The Lions of Teranga have finally won their first African Cup of Nations.
Born to Senegalese parents in the Catalan village of Arbúcies in 1995, he chose to represent his parents’ country at international level. 38 caps later, he was part of the squad that advanced to last Sunday’s final and got to win the trophy for the first time after defeating Egypt on penalties.
Now playing club football at Cagliari in Serie A, Baldé was used for 65 minutes in the tournament.
He immediately caught the eye playing for CF Palautordera from the age of seven, and after a spell at Damm he was brought to La Masia in 2004. Pulling goals out of his pockets, he quickly became one of the most promising rising young stars at the club.
“I was at Barça for many years and learned a lot on a personal level” said the electric winger prior to a Champions League game with Inter in the 2018/19 season. “Barça will always be a part of me.”
After a short period on loan to Cornellà, Baldé then departed for Italy, first to play at Lazio, and then at Inter, Sampdoria and his current club Cagliari, as well as a time at Monaco in Ligue 1.
In 2020, a gesture by Keita Baldé was noticed all around the world. Always aware of what is happening in the real world outside of the football bubble, and with Covid-19 at its height, he was extremely concerned by the plight of 200 temporary workers in Lleida, Catalonia. The food, clothing and accommodation that these people received was all thanks to the former Masia resident. He preferred to keep what he had done anonymous, but the story got out.
An African champion with Senegal, but a people’s champion off the pitch, FC Barcelona salutes Keita Baldé on his victory.