The midfielder of Barça, reliable when playing and with options to measure himself Tuesday to Villarreal for the load of games, will continue next year


With three games remaining to finish last season, Barça’s sports management confirmed that they would finally have a number with the first team. Nobody erased the smile of Carles Aleñá’s face (Mataró, Barcelona, ​​21 years old) , even though the joy lasted little more than a sigh because in the last duel of the course the tendon of the femoral biceps of the right thigh broke with the obligation to go through the operating room and miss the preseason with Valverde’s team. “I could not believe it, it was one of the hardest days I remember,” says the left-handed midfielder. From the club they took it with more calm because the final cooking of Aleñá, so fast in its beginnings, had to be done to slow fire.



Upon returning from the holidays, Aleñá entered the office of the sports director, Pep Segura, where the technical secretary, Éric Abidal , and his second, Ramon Planes , also awaited him . “It was suggested to him that maybe he could go back to the branch to pick up the rhythm and he accepted immediately because he understood the situation,” they say from the Ciudad Deportiva; “But it was made very clear to him that for all intents and purposes he was a first team player.” Meanwhile, he received a call from Valverde to tell him they would not look for a way out. “Between wanting to be professional and wanting to be Barça there is a big jump. But he has got between the brows that he wants to wear this shirt, “they say from the Camp Nou.


Aleñá debuted with the team in a cup match two years ago against Hercules and deciphered the game with a goal from outside the area. “I would have eaten it in the first time,” intoned Luis Enrique , who a few days later added: “Must improve in the position game because receive in easy areas of the field I do until I at my age.” Criticism that Aleñá took well – “when you point out a problem, he tries twice as hard to fix it, as his defensive deficiencies, his bad leg and even his coordination when he gave the spurt”, explains one of his trainers in the quarry- as well the sentenceIn LaLiga, he spent seven games in the bank until he had his first opportunity. “That’s how he understood what it takes to get there,” they point from the club. “But it has a great environment and it shows,” they say, referring to his father, Francesc, who also played in the lower categories of Barça and came to second with Xerez and Lleida.


Although as a child he began in the extreme – he liked to be called Rivaldo – over the years he retreated to the wheel. “The Mister points to profiles such as Vidal and Rakitic, which hinders its settlement. But he is ready because he has a great associative capacity, arrival and a privileged left leg, “says a technician of the house. “To be his first year, with four months injured, his progression is very good and this is what the coach and the sports area believe. It has been very easy for the team to play, “they add from the Camp Nou. “He knows that playing at Barça is very expensive and if they give him 10 minutes, he picks them up as if they were the most important of his career”, they add from the club, where they take for granted their continuity in the first team next year, compliant with the 724 minutes he has played, only ahead of Vermaelen, Cillessen, Malcom and Miranda.


Maybe this Tuesday against Villarreal have another opportunity, loaded with matches as the Barça goes – will be measured at Atletico and Manchester on 6 and 10 April – and reliable as it has shown when it has entered the rotations. It’s cooking in the elite, slowly but surely.



Aleñá signed with the benjamines of Barça with eight springs, a year before his time and a unique case because he wanted the Espanyol prebenjamines and Albert Benaiges, then director of the school, decided to make an exception after seeing him play for the first time .


A category jump that never undid because he always burned stages faster than he had to. “He did not seem to be smaller because he has always been the leader of his teams,” says a coach from the home; “It is the only boy under the age of 15 who, when things were not going well, did not shut up in the dressing room or nod but always gave a constructive opinion. And the best part is that the others listened to him. ” This is what his friend Marc Cucurella sees, a teammate since cadets although now a player of Eibar: “Even in the subsidiary he was the leader, he has plenty of character”.