La Masia Spotlight: Marc Muniesa, the Next Carles Puyol

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La Masia Spotlight: Marc Muniesa, the Next Carles Puyol
David Ramos/Getty Images

Marc Muniesa is currently a member of the Barcelona first-team after receiving a very much deserved promotion this summer. He has yet to play a game due to injury, yet he is one of the best defenders to graduate from La Masia in recent years.

Marc Muniesa joined the Barcelona academy in 2003 and was an instant success.

The strong defender rose through the ranks and was a staple in every age level he competed in. His rise throughout the academy was a difficult one though, due to injuries.

Muniesa, still only 20 years old, has showed wonderful promise as the next great La Masia defender for the first team. Much hype has been given to Marc Bartra, yet it is Muniesa who is the better defender.

Marc Muniesa appeared in his first game with the main squad in May of 2009 but was shown a straight red (via Goal). The ejection would discourage most, but Pep Guardiola had faith in the Catalan.

The young defender has featured for the youth ranks of Spain and may one day be on another famous squad for La Roja.

 

Style of Play

Muniesa featured last season at Barcelona B in three different positions. His main spot is in the center of defense, though he can also play at left-back and sweeper. But it is his style that makes him so promising.

Everyone has heard the name of the great captain Carles Puyol. It is this famous leader that young Muniesa resembles the most. The young defender uses his brain to defend while being very strong and fearless.

Like El Capitan, Muniesa is not the tallest defender. The 20-year-old stands at 5' 10" but uses his strength and ability in the air to deal with attackers and run the defense.

Fans will be excited to see that Muniesa so greatly resembles the current Blaugrana captain, but let us also remember something else.

Puyol is best known as a leader. The leadership quality of Muniesa is what makes him most like his captain. Muniesa is a very vocal player on the pitch who is always analyzing play and making sure the defense is in the right positions.

If Muniesa can break out into the first-team, he will have the best chance of taking over for Carles Puyol when the captain decides to retire.

Muniesa’s fire, aggression and brain all make him a tremendously talented center-back at only 20 years old. Every Cule will be hoping that he gets the time he needs to show his skill with the first-team.

 

Future at Barcelona

Knowing the pure ability of Marc Muniesa, the club will clearly be looking to keep him at Barcelona for the majority of his career.

However, Barcelona is taking no chances at stunting the development of Muniesa. This summer, Sky Sports reported that the defender was all but set for a loan move to Ajax before tearing his ACL in the preseason.

Barcelona had begun talks with the Dutch outfit but insisted that Muniesa would sign a contract extension before leaving on loan. The new contract idea shows that the Ajax move would only be to develop Muniesa for Barcelona next season.

But because of the terrible injury suffered in preseason, Muniesa stayed at Barcelona.

As stated, the 20-year-old has had injury problems in the past. At 16 years old he injured his knee when playing for the Youth A team. The knee injury kept him out of action for 10 months.

His recent ACL tear is expected to cause him to miss six months of action, which would put his return within the next two months. Though fans are often cautious of an injury-prone player, allow me to bring some good news.

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Shortly after recovering from his knee injury as a teenager, Muniesa made his Primera debut after Guardiola’s side secured the first La Liga title of the four year era under the Catalan boss (via Goal).

Muniesa has shown great fight and determination when facing injury. To this point, he has always come back not having missed a step, and the club is hoping that is the case now. In fact, it is wrong to label Muniesa an injury-prone player when his injuries have been nothing short of freak accidents.

As far as his future at the club is concerned, the defender has a contract until the summer of 2014. The club is likely waiting until he recovers before offering an extension.

One thing is certain: If his recovery goes as planned Marc Muniesa will be the next great defender at Barcelona. Look for the Catalan defender to remain with Barcelona for years to come.

 

What do you guys think of Marc Muniesa? Is he the next great or will injuries hurt his future? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments below?

Remember, La Masia Spotlight is brought to you every week. It is up to the readers to let me know who you want to see each week so comment below. Anyone recently promoted and under is available!

Note that all player information is courtesy of the player profile page from Barcelona's official website.

 

Tre’ Atkinson, The Catalan Blood of Bleacher Report. 

 

Check out the latest La Masia Spotlight articles here.

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