Where are they now? Barcelona’s Xl from Adama Traore’s debut in 2013
After six and a half years in England, Adama Traore now looks set to return to Barcelona for a second spell.
Traore came through the La Masia academy and made his senior debut in November 2013, coming off the bench in a 4-0 win over Granada.
He made just three more appearances for the club and we’ve taken a look at the Barcelona team from that win over Granada to see where they all are today.
GK: Jose Manuel Pinto
After Victor Valdes picked up an injury on international duty, Lionel Messi’s best mate Pinto enjoyed an unexpected run in the Barcelona team at the end of 2013.
But the goalkeeper was still released at the end of the 2013-14 season and spent four years without a club before officially announcing his retirement in April 2018.
Since hanging up his gloves, he has been able to focus more on his work as a musician and hip hop producer, releasing music on his own record label under the alter-ego Wahin. The 46-year-old has other interests and can now be found leading Zumba classes…
#getout @soakysiren @p13fit #P13Dance #P13FitChallenge #P13fiteros #foryou #fyp #fypシ #jumprope #dancechallenge #challenge #top #viral pic.twitter.com/iRpAUvCDK9
— Pinto “Wahin” (@13_Pinto) January 11, 2022
RB: Martin Montoya
Once regarded as the natural successor to Dani Alves, Montoya made 67 appearances for Barcelona but struggled to establish himself as a regular in this side.
After loan spells at Inter Milan and Real Betis, the right-back joined Valencia on a free transfer in 2016 and spent two years at the Mestalla.
He then moved to the Premier League with Brighton in 2018 but lost his place in the side following Tariq Lamptey’s arrival in January 2020.
The 30-year-old returned to Real Betis for a second spell in 2020 and is now competing for the right-back spot with fellow La Masia graduate Hector Bellerin.
CB: Gerard Pique
One of just two players from this starting lineup that still play for Barcelona, Pique is now closing in on his 600th appearance for the club.
He showed his commitment to the club in 2021 by taking a huge pay cut in order to facilitate the registration of Barcelona’s summer signings.
CB: Marc Bartra
Bartra looked set for a bright future at Barcelona until Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale utterly destroyed him in the 2014 Copa Del Rey final.
The centre-back signed for Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in 2016 and won the German Cup before returning to La Liga with Real Betis two years later.
He has made over 100 appearances in all competitions for the Andalusian side and Xavi is reportedly considering bringing him back to Barcelona.
On this day in 2014, Bale vs. Bartra ⚡
(🎥 via @realmadriden) pic.twitter.com/O4tDEZEvjq
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 16, 2021
Signed from Sevilla in 2010, Adriano didn’t have the same impact as Dani Alves but was a loyal club servant during his six years at Barcelona.
He was sold to Besiktas in 2016 and won the Super Lig in his debut season before returning to his native Brazil with Athletico Paranaense in 2019.
The 37-year-old most recently played for Belgian side Eupen in 2020-21 but is now a free agent.
CM: Sergio Busquets (Alex Song, 74)
Busquets is still a key part of the Barcelona team and is now their fourth-highest appearance maker of all time, behind only Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
After Messi’s move to PSG in 2021, the 33-year-old was appointed as Barcelona’s new club captain, but he has been criticised for his performances this season.
“He knows he made a mistake, but he is a spectacular and unquestionable footballer, he is very important for our game, if the team is together, Busquets is one of the best in the world,” Xavi said after Barcelona’s defeat to Real Madrid in January 2022.
Song’s contract at Camp Nou was terminated in 2016, and he then had spells in Russia and Switzerland with Rubin Kazan and Sion. He is currently plying his trade with Djiboutian side Arta/Solar7. No, we’ve never heard of them either.
CM: Andres Iniesta
After ending his 22-year association with Barcelona in 2018, Iniesta joined Japanese side Vissel Kobe and was later appointed as club captain.
The 37-year-old recently signed a new two-year contract, but he hopes to return to Camp Nou after hanging up his boots.
“Yes, it is something I wish,” Iniesta told the BBC in 2021. “I would like it to happen because more than anything it is the club I spent so many years in.
“You don’t know what will happen in the future, you don’t know in what way I could return or who will be the people in charge at a certain moment.
“So there are many factors which make it hard to see what will really happen, but if you ask me if I would like to, the answer is yes.”
READ: 19 of the best quotes on Andres Iniesta: ‘It’s like he has a magic wand’
CM: Cesc Fabregas
Fabregas was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in 2013 but spent one more season at Barcelona before signing for Chelsea.
The midfielder won the Premier League title and set up 24 goals for his team-mates in 2014-15, including the brilliant assist for Andre Schurrle’s strike against Burnley. He won another league title in 2016-17 before heading to Monaco in January 2019.
🗣 Cesc Fabregas on Andre Schurrle’s goal 🆚 Burnley in 2014:
“It’s all about the run. Make a good run, I’ll find you. If you don’t, no goal.”#CFC pic.twitter.com/fFuhySVUXm
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) January 7, 2020
RW: Alexis Sanchez (Sergi Roberto, 74)
Despite producing some brilliant moments at Barcelona, Sanchez was deemed surplus to requirements following Luis Suarez’s arrival and joined Arsenal in 2014.
He then established himself as one of the best players in the Premier League, scoring 80 goals in 166 appearances for the Gunners.
After a disastrous spell at Manchester United, the Chile international moved to Inter Milan and helped them win the Serie A title in 2020-21.
Roberto remains a useful utility player for Barcelona and has made over 300 appearances for the club but his contract is currently set to expire at the end of the season.
ST: Neymar (Adama Traore, 83)
Neymar was in the middle of his debut season at Barcelona and went on to win two Liga titles, the Champions League and three Copa del Reys.
His brilliant performances at club and international level convinced Paris Saint-Germain to meet the £198million release clause in his contract in 2017.
The Brazil international is yet to win that elusive Ballon d’Or but is undoubtedly one of the most talented players in the world.
After being sold by Barcelona in 2015, Traore worked on his game in England and is now returning to Camp Nou for a second spell.
Skill and technique in abundance 💫
Neymar is a joy to watch play football! 🤩
Will this be his year of #UCL glory at PSG? pic.twitter.com/MF7I982CF3
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 7, 2021
Pedro eventually decided to leave Barcelona in search of regular first-team football and reunited with Fabregas at Chelsea in 2015.
During his five years at Stamford Bridge, he scored 43 goals and added a Premier League title, the FA Cup and the Europa League to his incredible trophy cabinet.
The Spain international spent the 2020-21 season at Roma before joining their arch-rivals Lazio, becoming the first player to move directly between the two clubs in 36 years.
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