Barcelona teens like Marc Guiu have no fear, Xavi says

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Barcelona coach Javi Hernandez praised the fearless Marc Guieu after the 17-year-old came off the bench to make his debut against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Guieu was introduced with just 10 minutes remaining at the Olympic Stadium, heading home the winner after 33 seconds after being fed by Joao Felix to give Barca a 1-0 victory.

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“Marc is a kid from the academy and he made the difference,” Xavi told a news conference. “I’m happy for him and the three points, which is really important.

“I thought of him at that moment because he is a goal scorer, he has a spark and I like him personally. I have no problem with what we have in the room. Quite the opposite. I want to give them. That’s what I had at 17, 18 years old. Confidence was given.

Guiyu is the latest youngster to emerge from Barcelona’s academy and make an impact in the first team.

Lamine Yamal (16) and Fermin López (20) scored key goals in the comeback against Mallorca and Granada this season.

Meanwhile Gavi (19) and Alejandro Balde (20), have both established themselves as regulars in Barca’s first team.

“The thing that surprises me with this generation is that they have no fear,” Xavi added of Barca’s youngsters. “Maybe it was different in my day. They have that spark. They look at me with a face that says: ‘Put me on, I’ll show you it’ll be good.’ When we plant them, they are ready, they show character and courage.

“I saw it in Gavi, Balde, Lamine, Fermin… and Mark. There was no fear on his face.

“I told him he’d get a chance. He’d get a chance and he took it. I felt he was ready. I’m really happy for Mark, he’s a good kid who works hard.

“His first touch to score is fantastic. I congratulate him now and you can imagine how he feels. It’s probably the best day of his life.”

Guiyu, who joined the club’s academy in 2013 and is a Spain U17 international, relished the moment.

“I can’t believe it,” he told reporters. “I’m enjoying the moment. I never imagined this. I’ve been working my whole life for this, taking advantage of every opportunity and… I’m not going to sleep tonight.

“I’ve had this dream many times almost every night. I’m so proud. It happened really fast, I hardly had a chance to think about it. It was insightful.”

Due to injury problems at Barcelona, ​​Guiu was given a chance. Robert Lewandowski, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, Jules Kaunde, Rafinha and Sergi Roberto were dropped for the game against Athletic.

Xavi said neither Kaunde nor Roberto will return for this week’s home games against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League or Real Madrid in La Liga, but it is a case of “wait and see” with the other.

Ahead of Saturday’s Clasico, Barca are now just one point behind Real Madrid, who are joint top of the league with Girona.

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