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LA MASIA

Brighton’s new right-back has a unique place in Barcelona’s history

Brighton right-back Martin Montoya was the man who completed Barcelona's historic 'La Masia XI' in 2012

With all the comings and goings on deadline day it was easy to miss Martin Montoya pitching up at Brighton.

The 27-year-old has experienced something of a roaming career since making his Barcelona debut in April 2011, at which point he was being tipped to eventually succeed Dani Alves.

That proved a step too far, as Montoya left Barcelona for loan spells at Inter Milan and Real Betis before joining Valencia permanently for two seasons in 2016.

Sort your lighting out

4
Sort your lighting out

But anyone who missed Montoya’s deadline day arrival would have been well aware of his presence following the right-back’s performance in the 3-2 win against Man United.

Montoya shackled Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and anyone else who drifted over to his flank.

The defender, capped by Spain from Under-17 level through to the Under-23s, might have only been a peripheral figure during his time at Barcelona, but he does have an important place in their history.

Reunited once again

Action Images - Reuters
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Reunited once again

In the 14th minute of Barcelona’s trip to Levante on 25 November 2012, Dani Alves went off the pitch with an injury.

Montoya slotted in at right-back to complete a side in which every player had progressed through Barcelona’s La Masia academy.

How’s that for sustainable?

Academy perfection

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Academy perfection

It was the first time Barcelona had achieved the feat, which was the perfect realisation of Johan Cruyff’s vision years before.

Even when Xavi left the pitch in the 78th minute he was replaced by academy graduate Thiago Alcantara, although by that point Adriano’s arrival had spoiled the La Masia XI.

Barcelona won the game 4-0 and recorded a 100-point tally in a title-winning La Liga campaign, drawing four games and losing just twice.

Hold that

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Hold that

Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol and Xavi have since retired, while only Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi are still at Barcelona.

But for those 61 minutes Barcelona were the most sustainable team on the planet.

Something to gloat about at your next game, Brighton fans.


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