Barcelona's Marc Guiu celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao, at the Olympic Stadium of Montjuic in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023.

All you need to know about Marc Guiu, Barcelona’s record-breaking wonderkid

Barcelona never stop producing wonderkids – and Marc Guiu appears to be La Masia’s latest hero after coming on to score just 30 seconds into his senior debut.

The 17-year-old forward went from relative unknown to superstar after scoring the late match-winner in a 1-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao.

But who is the kid, and why should you be excited about him? Here’s everything you need to know about Guiu.

The story so far

Born and raised in the small Catalan city of Granollers, 30km north of Barcelona. Guiu represented Sant Celoni Barca – a Barcelona fan club – as a child before joining the club’s youth set-up at the age of seven back in 2013.

The youngster has continued his development away from the spotlight. So far he’s made just one eight-minute cameo for the club’s reserves, Barcelona Atletic, alongside a handful of games for their Under-19s in the UEFA Youth League. In total, he’s scored three goals in nine appearances.

Guiu didn’t feature in the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, although he did feature in a 2-0 friendly victory over Andres Iniesta’s Vissel Kobe back in June.

He then went on to catch the eye in Spain’s run to the semi-finals of the Under-17 Euros in the summer, scoring four goals – including two against Italy – to end up the tournament’s joint top-scorer alongside his Barca team-mate Yamal.

Still, few expected Guiu to be fast-tracked into Xavi’s senior squad just yet. The teenager’s presence on the bench against Athletic Club raised eyebrows and it was a surprise when Xavi elected to introduce him in search of a goal in the 80th minute.

Seventeen years, nine months & 18 days old when he was brought on for his Barcelona debut, Guiu became Barcelona’s fifth youngest-ever goalscorer – behind Lamine Yamal, Ansu Fati, Bojan Krkic and Gavi.

Style of play

It wouldn’t be fair to say that Guiu was a total unknown prior to his fairytale debut. He’s been earmarked as one to watch within scouting circles.

In fact, days before his first goal, The Guardian’s Spanish football columnist Sid Lowe picked the striker for their Next Generation series.

Lowe notes that Guiu is a different profile of player to the classic diminutive playmaker that La Masia is famed for producing. Already 6’1″ and with time to grow yet taller, Guiu is a proper No.9 rather than a false one. Think Robert Lewandowski.

He’s an aerial threat and adept at scoring headers but as his debut goal demonstrated – timing his run perfectly – Guiu is no old-school target man.

What’s been said

“He’s a specialist in the area, not the typical Barcelona player,” La Masia coach Ivan Carrasco told Sport.

“He doesn’t stand out for his combination play but in the area he has brutal heading ability and he has a power and speed on the run that make him very dangerous when there is space. He has fighting spirit, he never gives a ball up for lost and when it comes to pressing he is an animal.”

“The whole club should celebrate his goal,” said Xavi.

“It’s a demonstration that we’re working very well with the youth system.

“I can see the desire to play in these boys’ faces, they’re not at all scared like my generation. They look at me with desire, telling me to play them, they look at me with positivity.”

“I can’t believe it, I’m short of breath,” the man himself said in his post-match interview

“I’m enjoying the moment. This is unimaginable, but I’ve been working all my life to take advantage of opportunities and it’s come to me. Inigo has told me I won’t be able to sleep, but to enjoy it.”

“La Masia works. A great job is being done and it has to be taken advantage of in difficult moments for the club like now.”

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