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Barcelona teenager made history with his debut appearance in friendly vs Club America

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Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona endured a 2-3 loss at the hands of Mexican champions Club America in a mid-season friendly in the USA last night.

The Blaugrana travelled to Dallas soon after their 3-2 win over Almeria in La Liga for the mid-season friendly arranged to boost revenue.

While the result might not have gone Barça’s way in the US, they did achieve the primary aim of generating close to €5 million from the friendly encounter.

In addition to that, a host of youngsters from the club got an opportunity to taste senior football, even if it was an unofficial friendly.

Diego Kochen makes history

One such player to get an opportunity against Club America was young goalkeeper Diego Kochen.

With Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s injury, Inaki Pena has become Barcelona’s first-choice goalkeeper, Ander Astralaga the second custodian, and Diego Kochen the third goalkeeper.

Kochen had a difficult start to the season due to lower back problems that sidelined him for a prolonged period, and as such, the game against Club America will have been much more sweeter for him.

In Dallas, Kochen made history by becoming the youngest debutant goalkeeper in Barça’s history including friendly matches (17y 9m 2d) when he came on for Astralaga for the final thirty minutes, reports SPORT.

Counting friendly matches, until now Oier Olazábal was the youngest Blaugrana goalkeeper to make his debut at 17 years, 10 months, and 22 days. The Basque shot-stopper made his debut against Beijing Gouanen in the pre-season of the 2007-08 season.

It was even more special considering that Kochen got his unofficial first-team debut for Barcelona in his homeland in the USA.

The 17-year-old is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers to emerge from La Masia in recent years. Last season he made his debut for Barça Atletic in a friendly in Olot at the age of 16.

Secure in the air, boasting good agility and reflexes, and solid with his foot, Kochen has been tipped for a bright future.

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