Sunday’s game at the Palau Blaugrana saw a little bit of history made. Barça fans are always keen to see youngsters make their debuts, especially if they have come up through the La Masia youth system. At the weekend coach Xavi Pascual gave debuts to not one but two such promising young players. 16 year old Enric Vila is still a junior and on Sunday the lad from the Catalan town of Bescanó made his debut in the Liga Endesa, becoming the youngest player ever to appear in the competition for the blaugranes since Jordi Soler’s debut back in 1986. 17 year old Stefan Peno also made his debut to become the third youngest player ever in the competition for Barça.
Vila was born in 1998 and is already 2.05 metres tall. He joined the FC Barcelona youth basketball set up at 12 years of age and this season he is dividing his time between Joan Braulio’s Junior side and Aleix Duran’s Barça B team.
In the national third division he has played 8 matches this season, featuring heavily in two of those games. Vila is a forward with an excellent jump shot, rebounding instinct and intelligent and he has worked hard to achieve his dream of debuting with the first team.
Stefan Peno is a year older than Enric Vila and also made his debut against CAI Zaragoza at the weekend. He is the third youngest player to represent Barça in the league, ahead of such legends as the still active Juan Carlos Navarro. At 17 years and 4 months, this Serbian born point guard arrived at the club aged 14 and is still technically a junior even though he is an integral part of the Barça B squad with whom he has played 11 games this season at an average of 24 minutes per game.
The youngster has talent in abundance and despite his youth he made it onto Sascha Djordjevic’s 29 man longlist for the Serbia squad for the recent World Championships in Spain.