Barcelona Youngsters Shine as Adama Scores Wondergoal and Rafinha Runs the Show

Rik Sharma@@riksharma_Featured ColumnistDecember 16, 2014

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - AUGUST 06:  Adama Traore (L) of FC Barcelona is challenged by Blerim Dzemaili of SSC Napoli during the pre-season friendly match between FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli on August 6, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

BARCELONA, Spain — Adama Traore was only on the pitch for 16 minutes, but they were a spectacular 16 minutes. At a time when there are plenty of doubts about Barcelona's direction, he was one of a few special youngsters who showed why there will always be light at the end of the tunnel in Catalonia.

His goal came just three minutes after the boy from L'Hospitalet, not many miles from the Camp Nou, entered the fray.

We've seen him in action before for Barcelona; he made his debut coming on as a substitute last season in a game against Granada then made his Champions League debut in the same way three days later.

This was only his third appearance for the club, and he was determined to take it.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - AUGUST 06:  Adama Traore (R) of FC Barcelona is challenged by Blerim Dzemaili of SSC Napoli during the pre-season friendly match between FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli on August 6, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.  (Photo by Valerio Pennici
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Adama's goal was quite brilliant, zigging one way, zagging the other, breaking free of the defence and tucking the ball under the onrushing Dani Jimenez to delight a half-empty Camp Nou.

While not that many Barcelona fans turned up to watch what was essentially a meaningless game given Barca were already 4-0 up from the away leg, the ones who did left delighted.

Getting fans to come out to a Copa del Rey tie that kicked off at 10 p.m. CET was always going to be a hard task, but Barcelona put on a show for their fans.

While it was established star Pedro who took the plaudits in the first half, scoring a "perfect" hat-trick (left foot, right foot, header), he was substituted at the interval, with Luis Enrique allowing the youngsters to shine.

Sandro Ramirez, another substitute, was impressive up front, moving around like a man possessed, creating plenty of chances but also spurning them.

Despite this profligate finishing, he eventually got his name on the scoresheet, ramming home the eighth goal in Barcelona's 8-1 thumping.

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 04:  Sandro Ramirez of FC Barcelona tries to shoot past Tono Rodriguez of Rayo Vallecano de Madrid to score his team's opening goal during the La Liga match between Rayo Vallecano de Madrid and FC Barcelona at Estadio Teresa Rivero
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

It's easy to imagine him working in tandem in the front line with Adama in the future, and Munir El Haddadi, too.

This future isn't the near future, of course—the powerhouse trio of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi have plenty more years in them yet—but it's good for Barcelona fans to know that there are plenty more talented youngsters coming off the La Masia product line.

Munir is the player who has benefited from Enrique taking over as manager the most, with the youngster frequently the only youth player involved in the first-team training sessions and often placed on the bench.

While the Huesca rout wasn't his strongest game in terms of goal threat, he did create the first for Pedro with a peachy, left-footed cross.

There were two more youngsters pulling the strings in midfield, with experienced playmaker Andres Iniesta happy to sit back and let them work their magic.

Sergi Roberto and Rafinha Alcantara were outstanding in midfield, the latter particularly so. Huesca had to resort to brutal fouls to stop him from running the show completely.

Petros Karadjias/Associated Press

Rafinha was the man who played in Munir for the first goal, and he created Barcelona's final goal, too, slinging a ball over to Sandro, who dispatched it well.

After the game, the youngsters were left doing press duty—rare at Barcelona—and so in the Barcelona mixed zone, Sergi Samper—who was also good—and Adama spoke.

Adama looked particularly delighted as he spoke to the assorted media, and if all goes well, he will be shouldering the responsibility long into the future, too.

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