Yusuf Demir will never forget San Mamés, where the Austrian on loan from Rapid Vienna made his FC Barcelona debut on Sunday. The 18-year-old came on as a replacement for Martin Braithwaite after 61 minutes, thus becoming the first player from his country to feature in the blaugrana jersey since the great Hans Krankl.
"It's an honour for me to play for this beautiful club. It feels like a kid's dream come true. I worked really hard to reach this stage and I'm really happy to make my debut" he told the Barça TV cameras.
He also became Barça's youngest foreign debutant since Leo Messi (aged 17 years and 114 days) did so in 2004.
"Koeman told me to enjoy it because it's not every day that you make your debut for this beautiful club and I'm really thankful to him" he continued.
"The speed of the game was really high. I took me a little bit to come in but after that it was just a nice feeling and I hope it continues like that. I want to keep improving every day and I want to play for a long time here at FC Barcelona because it's the best club."
Demir appeared in all five of Barça's preseason friendlies, and his performances had a clear impact on Ronald Koeman, who has also called him up for the first two league games. And in Bilbao, he gave the ypoungster his first competitive action at the club.
The Dutch manager is clearly committed to youth. Demir was the eleventh played aged 23 or less to make their debut under the Dutch coach.
In 2020/21, chances were handed to all of Pedri, Ilaix, Konrad, Dest, Trincao, Mingueza and Matheus Fernandes, while the season just started as already witnessed debuts for Demir, Nico González, Eric Garcia and Royal.