FC Barcelona connections at the World Cup

FC Barcelona connections at the World Cup

The club has 17 current players at the World Cup, but the number rises to 35 when considering players and coaches that were at Barça in the past

There are plenty of reasons to get excited about the World Cup, for there are no fewer than 31 players and four managers at Qatar 2022 who are either at FC Barcelona right now, or who have been in the past. Let's take a look at them group by group.

Group A: Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador, Qatar

Barça has two players in the Dutch squad, Memphis and Frenkie de Jong, while the side is coached by Louis van Gaal, who managed the Catalan giants on two separate occasions. There is also Luuk de Jong, who made such a valuable contribution to the Barça cause last season, as well as his PSV team-mate Xavi Simons, who spent nine years of his youth in La Masia. Another La Masia product Moussa N'Diaye will be in action with Senegal. 

There is also a Barça connection in the host nation. Qatar are being coached by Félix Sánchez Bas, who is from Catalonia and was once the coach of the Barça U19 team.

Group B: England, USA, Iran, Wales

This is the one of just two groups with no current Barça players, but Sergiño Dest, who is now at AC Milan, is in the United States squad.

Group C: Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia

Robert Lewandowski is obviously the star of the Poland squad, but we have two familiar faces in other teams as well. Tata Martino, who managed Barça in the 2013/14 season is now in charge of Mexico, and Argentina has someone who obviously needs no introduction - Leo Messi.

Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Australia

Ousmane Dembéle and Jules Kounde are Barça's representatives for defending champions France, and Les Bleus also have former Barça striker Antoine Griezmann, who is now back at Atlético Madrid.

Andrea Christensen will be wearing the Denmark jersey. The Danes also enjoy the services of former Barça striker Martin Braithwaite, who is now playing for local rivals Espanyol.

Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica

No fewer than seven of the Spanish squad are graduates of La Masia, namely Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Gavi, Balde, Ansu Fati and Dani Olmo (the latter now of Leipzig). With Pedri and Ferran Torres also in the team, there is Barça blood everywhere to be seen in a team that is also managed by former Barça player and coach Luis Enrique.

Meanwhile, the current first team is also represented in Group E by Marc Andre ter Stegen in the German goal, while Japanese winger Takefusa Kubo, now of Real Sociedad, spent four years at La Masia.

Group F: Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, Canada

There are no current Barça players in Group F, but there is young Abde Ezzalzouli, who is on loan from Barça to Osasuna this season and is in the Morocco squad.

Group G: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon

Raphinha is Barça's sole current player in the Brazilian squad, but there are two former blaugranas to enjoy watching too, Neymar Jr and the veteran Dani Alves.

There are a couple of Barça connections in the Cameroon squad. Goalkeeper André Onana, now of Inter Milan, spent five years at La Masia, and centre back Martin Hongla played for Barça on loan from Granada in 2018.

Group H: Portugal, Uruguay, South Korea, Ghana

As well as Barça centre back Ronald Araujo, the Uruguay line-up also includes veteran striker Luis Suárez, who is now back in his native country playing for Nacional.

Also, South Korean midfielder Paik Seung-ho rose up through the ranks at La Masia, playing for Barça B, and is now on the books of K-League outfit Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

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