Riqui Puig is on the verge of making his debut for Spain's U21 side

The rise of the La Masia star hasn't gone unnoticed and he's included in the pre-squad list for the upcoming Euros qualifiers

Exquisitez técnica de Riqui Puig ante el Arsenal: cuando el músculo no lo es todo | FCB

Riqui Puig is a player the whole world has an opinion on. The current debate at FC Barcelona is whether he should be more involved with the senior side next season. But whilst that conversation rumbles on, Riqui was called up by Spain for the first time in his career as part of the pre-squad list for Spain's U21 side. 

Jordi Delgado

In that list, which still hasn't been confirmed by the RFEF, it will include 40 names and later be reduced to 23. Of those initial 40, nine Barça players are included. Puig is joined by Iñaki Peña, Chumi, Jorge Cuenca, Miranda, Oriol Busquets, Carles Pérez, Abel Ruiz and Carles Aleñá.

Birthday gift

It might come as a surprise due to his incredible talent but this is the first national team coach to call-up Riqui. The news of him making the original 40-man list came on his birthday. Luis de la Fuente is looking to build his team for the next generation and clearly views the La Masia star as someone who could play a role in that. 

Valverde is a huge fan of Riqui but due to the overbooking in the current squad for the midfield, he'd prefer to see the youngster go out on loan and gain vital top-level experience. But it will be hard for him to leave the Camp Nou, even if only temporarily, due to his desire to succeed at the club.

The 40-man list will be reduced to a final set of 23 players for the Euros qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Montenegro in September.

Aside from the nine players currently at Barça on that list, there are other names which have spent at least part of their development at La Masia. Those five are Marc Cucurella, Eric García, Josep Martínez, Dani Olmo and Sergio Gómez.

Aleñá and seven more from Barça B

The only member of Barça's senior side in de la Fuente's squad is Carles Aleña. The other eight, including Riqui, are currently registered with Barça B.

Those players come from all areas across the pitch. Iñaki Peña as a goalkeeper, two centre backs in Chumi and Cuenca; left back Miranda; three central midfielders, Riqui, Aleñá and Oriol Busquets; and two attackers Carles Pérez and Abel Ruiz.



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