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Foundation for success: Barcelona lead player contributions in the history of Spanish NT

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As one of world football’s oldest powerhouses, Spain has always been a frontrunner on the international front. Many generations of players have come and gone, but the level of La Roja on the field has seldom fluctuated.

Indeed, records do not do justice to the rich talent Spain has seen over the years. The nation has only one FIFA World Cup title, three Euro titles and one UEFA Nations League to show, but that takes nothing away from the generational players La Roja has housed.

It does not come as a surprise that most of the players to have represented the country on the international stage have been players who rose to the limelight in La Liga.

Barcelona and Real Madrid, thus, claim to be the two main teams to have contributed players to Spain’s international success.

A clear discrepancy

Taking a closer view at the list of clubs to have contributed the most players to the Spanish National Team proves that Barcelona have a significant edge over their Madrid-based rivals.

Over the years, the Catalans have contributed a staggering 141 players to La Roja, the latest being their teen sensation Pau Cubarsi.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, are considerably behind with just 128 players contributed from the inception of the club. In third place are Athletic Club de Bilbao sitting at 106.

Of the 141 players from Barcelona to make the cut, it is safe to say that most can claim to be homegrown talents. It is thus not surprising that Spain’s golden period happens to coincide with the Blaugranas’ peak in the last decade.

The Golden generation

Spain’s only FIFA World Cup title came back in 2010 when they beat The Netherlands in a closely fought final in South Africa. Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta scored the winning goal for La Roja, but he was just one of the innumerable Catalan pieces in the team.

Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Pedro, and David Villa all started the crucial final for Spain, accommodating seven of the eleven places on the field.

Xaviesta: The Greatest. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP via Getty Images)

Of the seven great midfielders the manager counted on at the time, four claim to be La Masia graduates – Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Cesc Fabregas. Only Xabi Alonso, Santi Cazorla and David Silva could compete with the Catalans stars.

It is thus safe to say that the version of the Spanish National Team that reached the pinnacle of football only managed to do so because of the Blaugrana core that drove the proceedings.

A new resurgence

Barcelona’s La Masia has seen a massive resurgence over the past few years in light of the club’s complicated economic situation. Needless to say, the same is reflected in La Roja once again.

From Ansu Fati, Pedri and Gavi’s breakthrough to the international stage in the past few years, the participation from Catalonia has only increased with Alejandro Balde, Pau Cubarsi and Lamine Yamal catching the management’s eyes.

Moreover, the likes of Hector Fort and Fermin Lopez are also knocking on the doors of Luis de La Fuente’s side.

Looking towards the future, the stage appears set for La Masia’s young starlets to dominate the international stage once more. The only aspect of worry, however, will be the overload of minutes considering their tender age.

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