The Copa del Rey allowed some players, like Carles Aleña, to make their first team debuts this season. There wa salso a start for Sergi Samper, who got injured, as well as three Barça B defenders. Academy graduates seem obliged to have to wait until the cup to get a chance. Even Ernesto Valverde feels they deserve more.
"For attitude, yes, the deserve chances," the Barça coach said. "They're kids that come to play and train and I have no doubts about them. But they have to compete -- there are good players here and they have to compete against them. That is the reality of this club, this team. We're all here to win and there's internal competition. The manager picks best XI to win the game without prejudice."
He added: "The academy players have one advantage in that they know the style and the formula. The style of the team is good for them. We want them to be players [for the club] in the long-term."