Saturday, December 4

This is Pablo Urdangarín, a versatile winger who lives in La Masia


35 years after the debut of Iñaki at Barça, another Urdangarin debuted on Saturday at the Palau Blaugrana. Pablo, the son of the ex-duke of Palma and the Infanta Cristina and nephew of the King, scored three goals while his parents applauded her from the stands. At 20 years old, he is big (1.94 and 84 kilos) and left-handed like his father although he plays extreme. “It is a very great joy for us because it is repeated that a member of our family is playing at the Palau”, expressed Iñaki on Saturday in Catalunya Ràdio. “He has good speed, he has to work physically but he is very versatile due to his height and size.” Pablo’s coaches explain to EL PERIÓDICO what the new one is like Urdangarin and reveal the keys to the journey to the Palau.

Carlos Ortega placeholder image, Iñaki’s former partner in the ‘dream team’, had already coincided with Pablo in the Hannover. The current Barça coach trained the German team and another Barça myth, Iker Romero, he directed the club’s youth team, which was reached in 2018 by that 17-year-old, who until then had played in Geneva.

“In the youth teams we were among the best in Germany and the level was quite strong,” says Iker. “When Pablo arrived, he was not used to such a hard training regimen. He did not complain, on the contrary, for many hours that they were, they were. It cost him at first but he gave a fairly large physical change and you could see that the boy had quality “explains Ortega’s former assistant in Hannover, who currently directs the Bietigheim, of the German second division.

The former player from Vitoria believes that Urdangarin did well having “a Spanish coach in Germany and Carlos.” He remembers that young Basque as a “super charming, super hard-working and humble kid, who adapted very well to the group”. In addition to a physical improvement, the growth at a technical and tactical level stands out during his time in Hannover, where he was already playing extreme. “When he was younger he had played on the front line, but due to his morphology and style of play where he is going to have the best success is on the right wing. He is a brave boy and improved decision-making in two against one and when running to counterattack “.

The following year the King’s nephew joined Nantes, but when the pandemic paralyzed the competition in France, he returned to Barcelona and settled in the Pedralbes neighborhood, where he had grown up. Apart from starting to study at the International Business School European University, Last season he already trained with Barça B, although he could not make his debut due to the lack of chips. Already being a subsidiary player for all purposes and living in La Masia, on September 26 he finally played his first game with B, against Trops Málaga, and a month later he made his debut with the first team, against Bada Huesca . If Iñaki (who played 14 seasons and won 53 titles at Barça) was wearing 7, Pablo wears 77.

Barça B train at noon in the sports city, from 1.30 to 2.30 in the gym and from 2.30 to 4.30 on the track. “There are a lot of young people like him who are studying and that way they can take advantage of the whole morning until one o’clock”, says Ferran Porres. The new subsidiary coach highlights the atmosphere that has been found in the locker room. “It is a newly formed team, with 10 changes and many new keys. Pablo is already a veteran, because he already knew himself with those who follow. There is a good atmosphere in the dressing room, very healthy and hard-working.”

The Barcelona coach points out the versatility that Pablo has in defense “he can play first, second or advanced” and points out that he is improving a lot in the finishes. “We are doing a lot of individual specific work with him and the wingers of the team at the finish.” The future will tell if he can make a hole in the first team. “He has anthropometric and athletic conditions to be extreme high performance,” says Porres. “The experiences in Germany and France have helped a lot. He is a Silver Division player, he has started the season well and with time he can be a good player.”

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