A New Hope – Barca’s next Pique, Marc Batra

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His patience has finally been rewarded. Marc Bartra had been persistently praised by Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova in recent weeks, but largely ignored by the Catalan coach – despite the club’s crisis in central defence.

On Tuesday night, however, he came of age with an accomplished appearance against Celtic in the Champions League. And there is plenty more to come.

It is often said that centre-back is the hardest position to fill at Barcelona. The Puyol prototype is a dying breed and even the captain began his career as a full-back before moving inside, and that was at a time when the Catalan club were going through a period of transition, too, with less pressure and expectation than now. Pique, meanwhile, was forced to leave the club in order to gain experience elsewhere before ultimately triumphing in the first team, and Albert Botia, an established Under-21 international with Spain, was simply surplus to requirements.

While midfielders and forwards can be eased into the side and afforded poor performances, a young defender simply cannot slip up. At the back, mistakes mean goals conceded and, as Tito told the press recently, fielding Bartra too soon could have ruined his career before it had even started.

Tall, fast and strong in the air, the 21-year-old possesses tremendous technical ability and has been compared to Pique because of his elegance and ability to bring the ball out from the back. Although similar, it is believed the pair can go on to form a successful partnership at Camp Nou in the future, though the club hope Bartra can add strength and muscle to his flimsy frame over the coming weeks and months.

Read Ben Hayward’s entire article on Batra, “Meet Bartra, Barcelona’s new Pique and the man who upset Messi” on Goal.com

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One Comment on “A New Hope – Barca’s next Pique, Marc Batra”

  1. Mohammad Faizan Hamid Batra September 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    Best of luck bhai 😀

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