Recreativo 0-1 Barcelona: 6 Things We Learned
Barcelona are undefeated under new manager Luis Enrique, though they have only played one match, which was a friendly. Regardless, their 1-0 victory over Recreativo Huelva was a nice transition into the new season.
With most of the first team stars still on vacation, it was mainly up to the youth stars to showcase their talents. Although the game definitely had a "first friendly of the summer" feel to it, fans did get a good look at several starlets.
In this article we will take a look at six takeaways from the victory over Recreativo and discuss the futures of some of the Barcelona youth stars. Be sure to get involved in the discussion below!
Recreativo Huelva Did Not Disappoint
We'll begin with Barcelona's rivals, Recreativo Huelva, who showed that they are not afraid to put up a fight. Though they were playing mostly Barcelona B players, the hosts refused to be beaten easily, holding the Catalans to a single goal.
The home side was able to hit on the counter, though nothing came of it. After just missing out on the promotional playoffs last season, Recreativo showed that they are ready for another deep run in the Segunda.
With players like Dimas and Victor Diaz leading the way, Recreativo should be able to finish near the top of the table. They have stars who are willing to fight, as well as a capable manager, and they just very well may be playing in the top flight in the years to come.
Yes, it was only a friendly, but Recreativo deserve a round of applause for refusing to be a soft opponent in a preseason encounter.
Alen Halilović Is the Real Deal
Croatian wonder Alen Halilovic has been a well-known player for a few years now. Despite his age, Halilovic has experience, talent and is already receiving comparisons to players like Lionel Messi.
At only 18 years of age, Halilovic made a big decision when he chose to join Barcelona's B team. However, it doesn't look like he will be playing for the reserves for very long.
The attacking midfielder dazzled against Recreativo on Saturday and showed everyone just why he is receiving tons of praise. His footwork and ability to beat defenders made him the most dangerous player on the pitch, and the hosts struggled to slow him down.
Halilovic may be a reserve team player at this point, but expect him to make his first team debut soon. His future is at the Camp Nou, and it is only a matter of time before he is dazzling on the biggest stage of all.
Dani Nieto Does Not Have a Future at Barcelona
Dani Nieto is already 23 and has yet to break into the Barcelona first team. There is a reason for that—he simply isn't good enough to be a Barcelona player.
Though the winger did play a major role for the B team last season, he has yet to show that he deserves a shot at La Liga. He may possess decent pace and dribbling, but Nieto gives the ball away too often and is rarely a threat going forward.
To put it simply, Nieto is not at the same level as the other Barcelona products. Against Recreativo, he was the most underwhelming player on the pitch, and one has to wonder just how much longer he will be wearing the Blaugrana shirt.
Joan Roman Continues to Improve
Unlike Dani Nieto, Joan Roman has been a hyped Barcelona winger for quite some time now. At 21 years old, the winger continues to get better with every game and may just have a future at the Camp Nou.
Roman spent the second half of last season on loan at Villarreal, and while he didn't feature much at all, it does look like he gained some valuable experience.
In the match against Recreativo, Roman looked stronger than last year and much more confident. It is clear that he has gone from being a talented winger, to a player who can also be looked to for leadership. With sky-high potential, fans should be excited about his future.
Roman will likely play a huge role at Barcelona B this season, but he could also see time with the first team if the schedule allows it. La Masia just keeps churning out talented wingers, and Roman is definitely one of the brightest.
His winning goal may have come off of a rebounded save, but he worked hard to put himself in the right position and strike a bouncing ball through a tight angle. The talent is there.
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen Already Looks Comfortable
New goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has not been a Barcelona player for very long, but he already looks like he is fitting in well.
The 22-year-old played the second half of the friendly against Recreativo and didn't have much to deal with. However, he did look confident and was not afraid to be vocal with his defenders.
The highlight of his night was his confidence on the ball, which would make even Victor Valdes proud. Ter Stegen showed that he is willing to play the ball out and keep possession through passing. While that can put a keeper in trouble, it is exactly what Barcelona ask for in a keeper.
Truthfully, ter Stegen did not have enough to deal with to really judge his debut with the Catalan club. But seeing his confidence and leadership has to have fans encouraged.
Gerard Deulofeu Is Ready to Play a Big Role
When Gerard Deulofeu left Barcelona last summer to join Everton on loan, fans were worried that he might never come back. In hindsight, the move was brilliant and the 20-year-old has gained a lot of confidence.
Along with Halilovic, Deulofeu was Barcelona's most dangerous player. Recreativo struggled to deal with his pace and dribbling, while his ability to create space helped teammates find avenues to attack.
Barcelona's lone goal came as a result of a strong move from Deulofeu, and the Catalan winger nearly doubled the lead when he struck a violent shot off the post late in the game.
All talent and potential aside, Deulofeu played with a ton of confidence and looked like a real leader on the pitch. He definitely doesn't play like he is only 20 and fans can count on him having big role for the first team this season.
What did you make of Barcelona's friendly? Which players stood out the most? Leave your thoughts and comments below!