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After almost spending almost his whole life in the blaugrana jersey, last night with the name ‘Eric’ on his back together with the number 24, his lifetime ambition finally came true.
Safe as houses
Eric Garcia proved his worth by posting a truly fabulous debut performance against Real Sociedad. He’s a player who never seems to lose his concentration and played a key role in keeping at bay two excellent chances for the opposition. He also played a major part in getting the famous possession game flowing and made some crucial tackles further up the pitch – in fact, he was the player with the second highest number of recoveries, five.
His performance is especially commendable considering he has not had any holiday this year, having been busy representing Spain at Euro 2020 and at the Olympic Games, which also meant he played no part in the Barça preseason. He started around half the games under Luis Enrique as Spain reached the semi-finals of the European Championship, and Luis de la Fuente made him a regular feature of the Olympic run, which ended with Spain collecting the silver medal.
There’s a strong, refreshing look to the way the centre back has taken on the challenge of being part of the Barça senior squad. He looked mightily composed in his first game and given further time to adjust, it really does look like he could be one of the most important players both this season and in those to follow.
From Barça Escola to the first team
Born in Martorell, he joined Barça Escola in 2008. That makes him the sixth player to have started out in the club’s soccer school to get to play for the first team, following in the footsteps of Martí Riverola, Sergi Samper, Alex Carbonell, Jana Fernández and Carla Armengol.
Just a few weeks ago, he also became the first former pupil to play at the Olympics, together with Takehiro Tomiyasu of Japan.
After just one year in the school, in 2009 he was invited to join the club’s own youth system at La Masia. He rose up through the ranks of the famous football factory, proving to not only be an eloquent footballer but also a natural leader, captaining teams at every level.
But in 2017, he left to join Manchester City, from where he has now returned four years on, now as a fully matured player.
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