It’s time for the official launch of Rafa Márquez’s second project at the helm of Barça Atlètic. The Barça subsidiary makes her debut in Las Gaunas against SD Logroñés – coached by Catalan Jordi Fabregat – and the illusion mixes with the uncertainty of a practically new side. The Mexico manager is supported by a great first season and this should be his confirmation. Two characteristics characterize the squad: quality and youth.
First in command of the first team and Márquez loses his captain Marc Casadó and youth center-back Pau Cubarsí, as well as goalkeepers Ander Astraga and Diego Koch, the one from Miami, from the 2006 generation. They have all been nominated by Xavi Hernández for Villarreal and since the first team and the reserve team play on the same day, it is impossible for them to “unfold” in two scenarios.
These victims are joined by those of the injured Trilli, Biel Vicens, Ángel Alarcón and Sergi Domínguez, and those of Mikayil Faye is still waiting for the transfer.
the first eleven
Marc Vidal, on loan from Andorra but already one of the captains, will be under the post while the defensive line seems to be the most transparent, with logical caveats as it’s the first game of the season. Héctor Fort is impressive at right-back, Álvaro Cortés will join the established Pelayo and up left Gerard Martín has more options for the time being than another new signing, Edu Sánchez.
The range of possibilities opens up more in the center of the playing field. Without Casadó, Pau Prim points to the pivot point, and in the interiors, Moha is anchored in the plans of Márquez. Aleix Garrido could accompany him, but there are also Unai and Noah Darvich to consider, the only 16-year-old German who has raised huge expectations.
Above, the ‘9’ position is played between two of the newcomers, Diego Percan and Pau Víctor. The former Cultural player had a good pre-season while the forward, later loaned from Girona, was able to throw himself on the wing and the two coincided. The other lead would be Gipuzkoan’s Dani Rodríguez after good performances, but the ‘Pocho’ – who scored a goal and an assist in the last friendly – is also looking for a place.
A challenge lies ahead of us
“We want to start and see what level we are at,” admits Rafa Márquez, who puts a lot of emphasis on one concept: competition. “We have a lot of quality and above all a lot of youth, it’s a challenge as a staff to have a competitive team at the top of the category,” he adds. Looking back on last season, he hopes to “play more regularly, the priority is to get better results away from home.”