Alejandro Balde, Yusuf Demir, Jordi Escobar, Peque Polo, Comas, Ramos Mingo, Gavi, Matheus Pereira, Igor Gomes, Rey Manaj, Moussa N’diaye and Nils Mortimer all get their first experiences of senior team football
Wednesday’s friendly with Gimnàstic Tarragona produced plenty of talking points, but none more so than the 12 different players that got to play first team football for FC Barcelona for the first time ever.
All of Alejandro Balde, Yusuf Demir, Jordi Escobar, Peque Polo, Arnau Comas, Ramos Mingo, Gavi, Matheus Pereira, Igor Gomes, Rey Manaj, Moussa N'diaye and Nils Mortimer.
All of them are still very young, and many of them have been growing up at La Masia. Others, like Yusuf who has just arrived from Rapid Vienna, joined Barça B later on in their careers.
Albanian Rei Manaj, who has already represented his country at full international level, was the name that stands out above any other after marking his debut in the best possible way – with nothing less than a hat-trick. One stunner to open Barça’s account, another chested in off a Hiroki Abe cross and then a penalty right at the end.
Ronald Koeman also offered opportunities to Iñaki Peña, the goalkeeper who also played in a friendly with Nàstic a year ago, and young Japanese talent Hiroki Abe, who played a friendly against Cartagena in 2019.
Álex Collado, who scored the second goal of the night, has already appeared in a number of Barça friendlies, and played the occasional Liga fixture in 2018/19 and 2019/20.