Today sees Ilaix Moriba turn 18 years of age and the young midfielder celebrates the milestone by training with the first team and being selected in Ronald Koeman's squad for recent matches. "It's an honour for me to work with the first team. Every time I am with them it is very exciting and every day is new. I am like a kid in the playground. I am always trying to learn from them," the teenager reveals.
Even though he is yet to make his official debut with the first team, he is hoping that birthday gift is not too far away: "I would like to make my debut at Camp Nou and to score, in front of the fans if that were possible. However, I am taking things one day at a time and I like to let things flow. With hard work, everything will be ok. I hope to be here for a long time and learn from the best."
The midfielder also explains that one of his role models is Sergio Busquets. "Not everyone can deal with the Barça philosophy. Learning from Sergio is incredible,· says Moriba when asked about his style of play.
Born in Conakry, Guinea, Illaix Moriba arrived at Barça in 2010, at the age of seven, from Espanyol’s youth system. Starting in the Under-9s C team, he quickly moved up to the Under-10s A side. Always playing ahead of his age group, he was a league champion with the Under-10s A, Under-11s C, Under-12s A , Under-13s B, Under-13s A, Under-15s B and Under-16s A team, as well as winning the LaLiga Promises International tournament in 2015 in Miami.
He started the 2018/19 season with the Under-19s B team, but was moved to the Under-19s A team mid-season. That year he featured in five games in the UEFA Youth League, with a total of 298 minutes played, scoring a goal in the Round of 16 match against Hertha in Berlin.
In the 2019/20 season he excelled with the Under-19s A side, playing 9 league games and scoring 4 goals. He also played three Youth League games. His great performances led him to receive him the opportunity with Barça B, for whom he played a total of 8 matches - three of which as a starter in the Playoffs in the summer of 2020.
Now in the 2020/21 seasons, when not involved with the first team, he is a key figure in the Barça B squad.