Héctor Bellerín, from Barça Escola to the first team
For the first time ever, FC Barcelona has two players that were previously at Barça Escola
Héctor Bellerín joining the FC Barcelona first team on the final day of the summer transfer market is also a big deal for the Barça Academy project. He is the eighth player to have progressed from the school to the very top, and this is the first time that two former pupils of Barça Escola (the former FCBEscola), namely Bellerín and Eric García, have been part of the men’s senior squad at the same time. There is also defender Jana Fernández, who has been part of the women’s team for several years now.
Born in 1995, Héctor Bellerín was at Barça Escola in the 2002-03 season, where one of his team-mates was Sergi Samper, another player who’d go on to play for the first team. The season after, he was recruited to play for the U10B team, and stayed through to U16A, after which he departed for Arsenal in England. In North London, he won the FA Cup four times, and also won the Copa del Rey last year with Betis.
Bellerín thus joins the list of #BarçaEscolaAlumni to play for the Barça first team, following Martí Riverola (1991), Sergi Samper (1995), Aitor Cantalapiedra (1996), Àlex Carbonell (1997) and Eric García (2001). In turn, Carla Armengol (1998) and Jana Fernández (2002) both went up to the senior team. Another eight Barça Escola graduates have gone on to play at the top level for their countries, namely David Babunski (Macedonia), Marcus Thuram (France), Javi Puado, Eric García (Spain), Andri Gudjohnsen (Iceland), Diego Almeida (Ecuador) and Enes Sali (Romania).