Breaking through as a young footballer is hard at any club but doing it at Barcelona is tougher than most.
Not only are Barcelona one of the biggest clubs in the world, with all the pressure that comes with that, but young players also have to live up to the fame surrounding La Masia.
Barcelona’s youth factory is considered one of the best in the world and, as a result, any player that comes from there is almost expected to be a world star before he’s had a chance to make any impact.
Some players, though, just aren’t destined to shine at the Camp Nou, and there are plenty of examples of it. Marc Cucurella is one of them.
The winger joined Barça as a youngster in 2012 and worked his way up through the ranks at the club, eventually ending up in the first team and making his debut in a 3-0 win over Real Murcia in the Copa del Rey.
That is his only appearance for Barcelona so far, with them electing to ship him out on loan to Getafe this season, and he believes the patience the club once had with youngsters is no longer there.
“I think that in Barcelona, which is a great club, in the end, the important thing is to win,” he told Sport.
“You still don’t have the patience you had. As a youth player, they don’t give the opportunities deserved.
“It tastes bad because I expected to be trusted more in the team. In football, the important thing is to win. It weighs more to win than to be patient.”
In truth, it’s not surprising to see Cucurella is harbouring negative feelings about his old club given the way they’ve treated him.
After spending six years at the club developing he was handed just seven minutes of football before being shipped out to Eibar.
However, Barça quickly brought him back, using a buyback clause, before sending him to Getafe on loan, although this time ensuring there was a purchase price (€6m) and they would get 40% from any future sale.
In short, they’ve treated Cucurella like a commodity and it’s clear to see that he isn’t best pleased about it.