He is 17 years old. And Xavi, on his first day in Barcelona, wanted to stop by the Estadi Johan Cruyff to see Barça B triumph over Sevilla Atlético (4-0). The new Barça coach did it after watching on television Barça’s chaotic draw at Balaídos (3-3) after the then Sergi team wasted a 0-3 against Celta.
Xavi took a seat in the Johan Cruyff box and enjoyed the display of Ilias Akhomach, a promising winger who scored two goals. Xavi took note and this morning, hours before the derby against Espanyol, he included that interesting forward on his first squad list.
Discarded at the beginning, recovered later
Ilias, of Moroccan origin, but born in Hostalets de Pierola, managed to overcome an initial dismissal in the Barça quarry. He entered it very early, standing out as a pre-baby, but then being Alevín A they decided to do without him. He went to the Gimnàstic club in Manresa. And soon, the Barça detected that it had been mistaken, reason why it recruited it again. Madrid wanted him, but Ilias decided to return to Barça.
At the age of 16 he made his debut with Barça B and Xavi, after seeing him score two goals against Sevilla Atlético, he has already taken him to the first team
At the age of 16, he made his debut at Barça B and now, at just 17, he is appearing in the first team, taking advantage of the plague of injuries that shake the front. And Xavi’s football, which he wants to implement at the Camp Nou as soon as possible, needs creative and unbalancing players, capable of being daring in a one-on-one game. Ilias is. He’s cheeky with the ball.
– FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_cat) November 20, 2021
It has no extremes due to the casualties of the injured Ansu Fati and Dembélé. Well, Xavi, as Koeman was doing, looks down and trusts Abde, who already had minutes against Alavés and Celta, and bets on Ilias. “Before starting the game we did not know that Xavi was in the box. The goal of all the players who are here is to get to the first team and train every day as well as possible,” said the winger after his two goals against the Sevilla subsidiary.
Now, he is part of the first team. And with options even to be a holder. “There may be some surprise in the starting eleven,” Xavi declared this Friday, even before providing the list of 23 players. A list that also includes four players who were out during the national team break.
🚀 This was Ilias Akhomach’s second goal with Barça B
– FC Barcelona B (@FCBarcelonaB) November 11, 2021
Pique, Eric Garcia, Sergi Roberto and Nico have been discharged. And even Ilias himself received this morning permission from the Barça doctors to be included in Xavi’s first call. The name is, without a doubt, Ilias, who a sprained right ankle prevented him from playing with the Barça team against Atlético Sanluqueño. Perhaps it is the surprise tonight that Xavi announced for its premiere.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.