Rodri replaces Puyol / FOTO: ARXIU FCB

No fewer than four former Barça youth players could be in the Rayo team that faces their former club on Saturday. Rubén Martínez, José Manuel Casado, Sergio Rodríguez, ‘Rodri’, and Roberto Trashorras all played for Barça youth teams, and are now at Rayo Vallecano under Paco Jémez. Three of them are regular starters in the Vallecas based side.


Rubén: at Barça from 2002 to 2007, played two Liga matches in the 2004/05 season while Víctor Valdés was suspended. He was on the bench for the Champions league Final in Paris in 2006. He has played in seven of the eight Rayo Vallecano games this season.


Casado: played at various youth levels and also for Barça C, but never made his debut for Barça B. He is now the first choice left back at Rayo Vallecano, having played seven of the eight games this season.


Rodri: the centre back was at Barça from 2003 to 2006, during which time he made it as far as the first team. He made his debut on December 11, 2004 away to Albacete (1-2), featuring alongside the likes of Deco, Eto’o and a very young Messi. In the 2005/06 season, he played four more first team matches, but this season has not been getting too many opportunities at Rayo, having only played 20 minutes.


Trashorras: the Galician was at Barcelona for a whole decade, from 1993 to 2003, after which he moved to Madrid Castilla. Having featured prominently in the different Barça youth teams, he played twice for the first team (once away to Wisla Krakow and once at Riazor, both games in 2001). He is now one of Rayo’s most important midfielders, and has played seven times this season.

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