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Riqui Puig makes official debut

Riqui Puig makes official debut

The 19-year-old midfielder got his first official minutes and even had an assist in Wednesday night's Copa del Rey win

FC Barcelona's 19-year-old midfielder Riqui Puig made his official debut on Wednesday night in a 4–1 victory in the second leg of the Copa del Rey round of 32 versus Cultural Leonesa.

Puig's fellow Barça B players —Chumi, Cuenca, and Miranda — made their first team debuts in the first leg at León on October 31.

Wearing the number 28, the Catalan teenager took the field in the 55th minute, coming on for Oriol Busquets. Puig assisted Denis Suárez's second goal of the evening, in minute 70, helping Barça restore a three-goal lead. In 30 minutes, Puig completed 30 passes and made three recoveries.

"I came to Camp Nou when I was three years old," Puig said after the game. "I've been a Barça fans since I was little. Imagine how excited I was. My debut was a dream come true."

"But, tomorrow, nothing will change," he continued. "I'll go train with the reserves, with a smile on my face, to try and help the team as much as I can."

While Puig was satisfied with his first official appearance, so was manager Ernesto Valverde.

"Riqui Puig is a difference-maker, he is always looking ahead," Valverde said. "We hope this is just a first step, and that he'll keep on doing what he does with the ball."

Puig came to Barça at 14 years of age and has moved through all of the Club's youth categories. This season he has played 14 games with Barça B, 10 as a starter.

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