Angel Alarcon, the latest teenage sensation from Barcelona

Remember the name – Angel Alarcon.

Touted as the next big thing to come out of the Barcelona talent factory after Pedri, Alarcon has been attracting a lot of attention.

Let’s find out more about him.

Alarcon was born on 15 May 2004 in Castelldefels, a town on the outskirts of Barcelona where Lionel Messi also lived during his time at the club.

He began playing football at his local club Vista Alegre and joined Espanyol at the age of six.

Alarcon’s performances at Espanyol were so impressive that by the age of 14, both Barcelona and Real Madrid were vying to sign him.

In the end, he chose Barcelona and soon proved why the two biggest clubs in Spain had been desperate to secure his signature.

In 2019, Alarcon finished as the top scorer in the Kevin De Bruyne Cup, an under-15 tournament set up by the Manchester City star in collaboration with his boyhood club KVE Drongen in 2016.

He scored 37 goals in his first two seasons with Barcelona, and despite not being the typical silky and skilful winger that people picture from La Masia, he impressed with his power, vertical movement, and special sense for goal.

Former Barcelona sporting director Ramon Planes recalls a conversation he had with first-team manager Ronald Koeman at the end of the 2020-2021 campaign.

Planes suggested taking two academy players, Alarcon and Gavi, to the next pre-season tour, even though they hadn’t completed a season with the Barcelona B team.

The club told both players that they would be part of the first team’s pre-season tour in the summer of 2021.

However, Alarcon tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the last game of the previous campaign, an under-19 cup tie against Deportivo La Coruna, and missed pre-season as a result, as well as the entire following season.

Despite his injury setback, Alarcon spent last season recovering and has returned to his best form this campaign.

He has scored nine goals in 17 league games with the Under-19 team this term and has made six goals contributions in as many games in the UEFA Youth League.

Xavi was convinced by his performances and called him up to the first team, where he has been reunited with Gavi.

Alarcon has become the latest Barcelona academy graduate to make the step up to the first team this season after catching the eye of coach Xavi.

Since Memphis Depay’s departure to Atletico Madrid in January, the 18-year-old Alarcon has trained with the senior squad every day.

He and the 19-year-old midfielder Pablo Torre have been the two young prospects regularly included in Xavi’s matchday squads in recent months.

Despite spending 14 months on the sidelines due to his injury, Alarcon has come back stronger than ever.

Alarcon made his first team debut on 19th Jan, 2023 in the Copa del Rey game against Ceuta. The 18 year old was the 198th player from  ‘La Masia’ to make his senior debut.

Xavi has been hugely impressed by his performances in training and gave him his La Liga debut in Barcelona’s 2-0 win against Cadiz last month.

While Alarcon’s chances were helped by Barca being unable to sign a replacement for Depay, he has earned his place among his team-mates with his talent and hard work.

Looking ahead, Xavi believes that Alarcon has a bright future ahead of him.

The teenager’s ability to operate at any position in the attacking front and his special sense for goal mean that he could end up as a No. 9 at Barcelona.

For now, though, Alarcon is focused on continuing to improve and helping Barcelona to achieve their goals.

With his talent, determination, and the support of his team-mates and coaches, he has the potential to become one of the best players in the world.


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