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18-year-old Barcelona academy whizkid has caught the attention of Xavi



Photo by TOM GOYVAERTS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona’s youth academy, La Masia, stands as the club’s most precious gift to the world of football.

It is a place where dreams take root, and then, through dedication and meticulous training, generations of starry-eyed youngsters blossom into the embodiment of excellence.

One of the latest gems to draw attention from the academy to have caught the eye of first-team manager Xavi Hernandez, as per SPORT is Dani Rodríguez – the main catalyst behind Barcelona’s victory in the UEFA Youth League against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Dani Rodriguez leads Barcelona to victory

As per the report, the 18-year-old youth prospect has been deemed one of the future bets for the club and Xavi.

His potential was testified by his masterclass against Shakhtar, as he produced a magnificent goal and provided an assist in a 3-0 win earlier today to help the Catalans progress to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Youth League.

Driving with determination from his own half, he burst past the Shakhtar players and calmly chipped the ball over the goalkeeper to extend Barcelona’s lead to 2-0.

Oozing talent

The 18-year-old talent has drawn the interest of Xavi due to his outstanding performances with the club’s Juvenil A squad. He has also featured thrice for Barça Atletic this season.

Dani Rodríguez began his football career with Real Sociedad’s junior division. At the age of 14, he caught the interest of major European clubs, notably PSG, due to his exceptional dribbling and versatility.

Eventually, Barcelona were able to complete his signing. Since he arrived in Catalonia, the talented youngster has gone through the different stages of youth football

Currently, Rodriguez is a key player in Juvenil A, where he is a regular in the starting eleven and has produced two goals and three assists in 4 Youth League appearances this term.

An interior midfielder primarily, he can also slot in as a winger, with immense technical skills and the ability to go both ways while dribbling.

Moreover, his powerful left foot enables him to take strikes from range and pose a threat outside the area, which is always a crucial asset for midfielders.

If Dani Rodriguez continues to display progression, he could make his way to a first-team spot very soon. The absence of a left-footed midfielder on the first team elevates his chances.

However, Barça must first tie him down to a new contract, with his current one expiring in 2024

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