Konrad de La Fuente is a rare gem.
The talented winger is an 18-year-old American — the only American — currently playing at FC Barcelona’s world famous youth academy, La Masia, which according to Sports Illustrated, is "the Hogwarts of sports."
For Konrad, a rising star who has been at La Masia since he was 12, expectations may be high, but he has all the elements needed — like Barça’s core values of humility, effort, ambition, respect, and teamwork — to reach his self-stated goal.
“I’m really thankful” to be playing at La Masia, he said, "and just trying to work hard every day to get to the first team.”
VIDEO: Konrad de la Fuente scores twice as Barça win at Slavia Prague, 4-0, in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday, October 23, 2019.
For an American in a foreign land, there is no better place to try and reach your dreams than at La Masia, which has kept a close eye on Konrad since he joined up.
And among those tasked with keeping the Barça youth academy at an elite level are Xavier Vilajoana, the Barça board member overseeing amateur academy football, and Patrick Kluivert, the former Barça player and Dutch international who is now the Club’s director of youth football.
“I think Konrad is a very bright player,” Kluivert told SI. And if the American keeps progressing, Kluivert explained, next season “he will be for sure in the Barça B team,” which is just one step away from the first team.
And one step from his self-stated goal.