Munir, Rafinha Among Those Proving the Future Is Bright for Barcelona

Rik SharmaFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2014

The future at Barcelona is bright.
The future at Barcelona is bright.Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

Barcelona's pre-season has mainly been about building up fitness, but the likes of Munir El Haddadi and Rafinha Alcantara will be delighted to have shown Luis Enrique what they can do. 

The club delights in bringing through players from the youth system who have learned their trade at La Masia, and new manager Enrique is particularly fond of this system.

As a former coach of Barcelona B, Enrique is willing to give younger players a chance. He has promoted Rafinha, Gerard Deulofeu and Jordi Masip to the first-team squad.

There is another exciting generation of young talent ready to start coming through at Barcelona who may end up being long-term heirs to the great Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and even Lionel Messi.

Rafinha was the finest player on the pitch during the club's 6-0 friendly win over HJK Helsinki last weekend. Munir was not far behind him.

Rafinha is going to play in the first team this season.
Rafinha is going to play in the first team this season.Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The former was in bewitching form, his fancy footwork particularly memorable in the build-up to Gerard Pique's goal.

It was Rafinha's perfect cross that was nodded home by Munir in the first half.

Munir, meanwhile, was the man of the match statistically, notching twice and getting an assist for Sergi Roberto's goal.

His clever flick played in the midfielder, who fired low into the net.

Munir had opened the scoring with a superb snap-volley from Iniesta's carefully lofted through-ball.

Munir is a forward, and it may take some time for him to get into the first team at Barcelona given the potency of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, but good things come to those who wait.

He has the brain to play at a high level. His positional sense and some of his runs are outstanding.

In addition to Rafinha, who may get to play a few games this season for Barcelona, and Munir, there are plenty of other young talents bubbling away.

Gerard Pique is confident that some of them will follow his footsteps and make it to Barcelona's first team. Others may not but will still forge good careers in La Liga. Pique told Sport:

They have a really good level. They have always been in Barça, but they cannot wait to be players playing in the first team at the club. If they work hard enough, some of them will arrive in the first team, while the others will play in the Primera.

Alen Halilovic has been impressive too.
Alen Halilovic has been impressive too.EuroFootball/Getty Images

Alen Halilovic is one youngster who has caught fans' eyes this pre-season. He has been tidy and impressive ever since his first game, which was against Recreativo Huelva.

Adama Traore is another who is frequently mentioned as an outstanding talent. While he possesses great physicality and pace, he may be outmatched in La Liga.

One more hot prospect is left-back Alex Grimaldo, who should be the long-term successor to Jordi Alba.

Even though this summer in Barcelona has been heavy with new signings, the future, as always, lies with the kids from La Masia.