Few players ever have to privilege to play their first match for FC Barcelona in the Champions League. Even fewer after having spent their whole life with the club. Now Sergi Samper can say he did it, after arriving as a 6 year old and completing the journey on Wednesday night at the age of 19 against APOEL Nicosia.
Luis Enrique wanted to make sure Samper's debut came as a starter. With Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano resting, Samper was slated for midfield, alongside Sergi Roberto and Xavi.
Samper has Barça written all over him, never having played with any other club.
He is a natural leader, a key piece in the latest great generation of players. He spent all of 2013/14 with Barça's B team, where he played in 40 matches and caught the eye of Luis Enrique. Now he has the opportunity of a lifetime.