More than 30% of LaLiga minutes to academy products
Nine Barça players hailing from La Masía played almost a third of the team's minutes in the league
In a CIES Football Observatory study of the most minutes played by youth team products at their respective clubs this season, FC Barcelona are one of the European teams to have most frequently fielded players who came up through their academy. Of the 'big clubs' in the continent, only Ajax gave more playing time to homegrown talents.
FC Barcelona had 30.6% of their minutes include players from La Masía. This is a higher percentage than practically any other team in the main European leagues, only bested by smaller clubs such as St-Etienne (35%) in Ligue 1. No Bundesliga, Premier League or Serie A team matched their numbers.
In Spain, Athletic Club's 'Basque only' policy inevitably leads to a high percentage of youth products being used, with 50.9% of minutes for such players. However, the LaLiga average is just 16.3%.
Jordi Alba (3,030 minutes) was Barça's most frequently used player from the academy in the league, followed by Leo Messi (3,023), Sergio Busquets (2,527) and Òscar Mingueza (1,902), the latter still registered with Barça B. Others to be used in LaLiga in 2020/21 are Piqué (1,484), Sergi Roberto (944), Ilaix (538), Ansu Fati (436) and Riqui Puig (283).
For this study, the CIES Football Observatory only used players who had spent three or more seasons in their club's youth system from age 15-21. Ronald Araujo, who spent two years at Barça B, was thus excluded. Had he been part of the study, the percentage would have increased, due to him having played 1,508 minutes.
*The CIES Football Observatory article gathered data until Matchday 34. Subsequent matchdays have been completed with Opta Sports data.