UEFA Champions League: Konrad de la Fuente called into Barcelona's first team

Konrad de la Fuente was named to Barcelona's matchday squad for Saturday's UEFA Champions League match its against Napoli after injuries and suspensions left the Spanish squad scrambling to fill its bench.

The 19-year-old winger will become the first American ever to be named in a Barcelona first-team squad. He was one of nine Barca "B" players called up because of injuries to Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele and suspensions to Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets.

Konrad, who started for the USA at the 2019 U-20 World Cup and is eligible for the 2021 U-20 World Cup, recently signed a new contract with Barcelona that will keep him at the Catalan club through the 2021-22 season with an option for two additional years. He has a release clause of 50 million euros ($57.5 million). It will rise to 100 million euros ($115 million) if he is promoted to the Barca first team.

Earlier in the year, there was speculation that he would leave Barcelona for another team in Europe, so his call-up marks a dramatic change in fortunes. He split time in 2019-20 with Barcelona "B" in the Spanish third division and Barcelona's U-19s. He scored twice in the recent Spanish third division playoffs, helping Barca "B" to within one win of advancing to the second division.
"It has always been my dream to play for the first team," de la Fuente said in a statement after extending his stay at Barcelona, "and that is why I want to stay here -- to try to achieve it."

Barca and Napoli played to a 1-1 tie in the first played in Naples in February before European soccer was shut down.
6 comments about "UEFA Champions League: Konrad de la Fuente called into Barcelona's first team".
  1. Bob Ashpole, August 8, 2020 at 5:46 a.m.

    Sometimes dreams do come true.

  2. Wooden Ships replied, August 8, 2020 at 9:30 a.m.

    More skilled players will certainly change our style of play. This is as exciting as my former teammate scoring twice, with one assist, in a defeat of Barcelona back in 82 I think. Moyers with the Cosmos, 5-3. 

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, August 9, 2020 at 4:01 a.m.

    WS: thought you would enjoy this clip.


  4. Wooden Ships replied, August 10, 2020 at 11:14 p.m.

    Yes, that's it. Thanks Bob. Steve, also scored the two goals in our first defeat of Mexico in the modern era, 2-1. It was in the states, can't remember the year. There is a nice clip
    of him and Pele at the White House with the President. 

  5. beautiful game, August 8, 2020 at 10:24 a.m.

    Wishing Konrad that his opportunity to feature with the first squad happens sooner then later. Yet, with El Presidente Bartomeu's track record of neglecting Barcelona's La Masia, I wouldn't hold my breath for de la Fuente's first squad appearance. 

  6. R2 Dad, August 8, 2020 at 10:38 a.m.

    Proverbial cup of coffee, but stranger things happen than a run out in the dying minutes once the match has been decided. Still not the same without fans. Best of luck to the young buck.

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