2013-14 was a tough season for Barcelona’s first team, who failed to leave their mark on a domestic or European front, but the same could not be said for their stellar youth side.
La Masia had reached a fine boiling point and culminated in a star-studded under-19 outfit that blitzed their way through the Youth League, winning five and drawing once in the group stages before eventually beating Benfica 3-0 in the final to win the competition for the first time.
We’ve looked back at the obscenely talented team that achieved the feat 10 years ago and what they’ve done in football since, which is quite the surprise.
GK: Fabrice Ondoa
Cousin of Manchester United’s Andre Onana, Ondoa missed the semi-final but made seven saves in the final on the way to keeping a vitally important clean sheet as Barcelona won 3-0.
He never made a first-team appearance, however, and left in 2016, dropping down the Spanish divisions for regular game time before eventually finding top flight football once again in Belgium with KV Oostende in 2018.
After floating around Europe, he’s currently found a home in the third tier of French football with Nimes, having been capped 48 times for Cameroon at the age of 28. Still plenty of time to add to that tally.
RB: Godswill Ekpolo
Godswill developed through Barcelona’s various youth ranks and captained their under-21 side as well as starting in the Youth League final, but also left the club in 2016 without making a senior appearance.
A trial with Wolves after his release turned into a contract offer from League One side Fleetwood Town, although he’d only stay put until January 2018 after losing his spot in the side.
Now 28, Godswill enjoyed a successful spell at Hacken in Norway from 2018 to 2021, but is currently playing his trade in Cyprus with Apollon Limassol.
CB: Roger Riera
The captain on the day, Riera was snapped up by Nottingham Forest that summer in what felt like a huge deal for the then-Championship outfit.
He failed to make the jump from youth to first-team again, though, and was released in 2016.
Riera actually returned to Barcelona briefly in 2021 – turning out for Barcelona B – but now plies his trade in Spain’s lowly third tier with Real Union.
CB: Rodrigo Tarin
Making a good account of himself in the tournament and scoring in the final, Tarin earned himself a contract extension through to 2018 and was promoted to the Barcelona B team, but again couldn’t progress to the first team.
Unlike others so far, though, the centre-back was able to carve out a La Liga career, signing for Leganes in 2018 and featuring regularly for them even after their 2020 relegation to the second tier.
He left in January 2022 for fellow second-tier side Real Oviedo, where he remains today.
LB: Xavi Quintilla
Representing both Barcelona and the Spanish national team at youth level, Quintilla was promoted to Barcelona B after the triumph but struggled to make it stick and left for Villarreal’s B team in September 2017, after leaving Barca for nothing.
He was eventually promoted to Villarreal’s first team in 2019, but quickly lost his place and joined Norwich on loan for the 2020-21 campaign, helping them to win the Championship.
These days, Quintilla plays in Spain’s second tier with AD Alcorcon.
CM: Jordi Ortega
Being a UEFA Youth League-winning midfielder for Barcelona must stand you in good stead for a career at the top, right?
Apparently not. Ortega signed for Wolves immediately after winning the tournament, but only stuck it out for a season in England before returning to Spain with Cordoba.
He’s spent the bulk of his career since between the second and fourth tiers of Spanish football, but mostly the latter.
CM: Lionel Enguene
Failing to make it stick at Barca B, Enguene took the best career step any footballer can take and headed to Turkey in 2016 with Antalyaspor.
Having signed in the January, he was unfortunately gone by August and back to Spain. The former Cameroon under-20 has since played in Kuwait and Georgia, but as of 2021, has been playing in Spain’s regional tiers.
CM: Wilfrid Kaptoum
Kaptoum arrived to Barcelona with promise after signing from the Samuel Eto’o academy and actually managed to turn the Youth League triumph into a handful of first-team appearances, making his senior debut as a starter in the Copa Del Rey in 2015.
Later that year he appeared in the Champions League and scored his first Barcelona goal against Valencia in 2016, before a five-month injury layoff derailed all that progress.
He was released in 2018 and signed for Real Betis, but struggled to settle and even endured a brief stint in MLS. He now plays his football in Cyprus.
RW: Adama Traore
Long before he became known for his absurd pace and oiled up muscles, Traore was bursting down the wing for Barcelona at academy level.
His youth exploits in Spain were quickly forgotten about as he eventually made a success of himself in England with Wolves, having previously misfired at Aston Villa and Middlesbrough.
Strangely, after falling out of favour at Molineux at the same time that Barcelona were having financial difficulty but needing reinforcements, he wound up back at the club on loan in 2022, although an option to make the deal permanent was not activated.
He’s now bulldozing his way past defenders for Fulham.
ST: Munir El Haddadi
The one that never was. Munir finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 11 goals including a brace in the final, the second of which came from the halfway line to put the seal on victory.
All the signs pointed to Munir becoming a star at Barcelona, breaking into the first team the following season as they won the treble and scored five goals in the Copa Del Rey in 2015-16.
The striker stuttered after a bright start, though, and eventually left in 2019 after a series of loan spells. Capped once by Spain in 2014, he switched allegiance to Morocco a year later and has been capped 11 times.
Munir currently plies his trade with recently promoted La Liga side Las Palmas.
LW: Moha El Ouriachi
The Moroccan winger turned down a contract offer to remain at Barcelona after failing to progress as he’d liked and joined Mark Hughes’ Stoke-alona revolution in 2015-16, the beginning of an unexpected spell in England and Scotland where he turned out for Shrewsbury and Hearts.
He found himself back on loan in Barcelona in 2017 with Espanyol B, before returning permanently with Catalan side CF Badalona – no, really – the following summer.
Moha was last seen playing in Spain’s regional tiers in 2021 for L’Hospitalet. Another stunning drop-off for a UEFA Youth League winner.