Friday, 23 November 2012


Who is he? Where does he play?

He is another one of those ultra-brilliant teenagers made from the fairy dust they have in large supply over at Barcelona's much-fawned-over La Masia academy. He is 18 years of age and plays as a centre forward or a winger which earn him inevitable comparisons to....

Let me guess.. Lionel Messi?

Nope, surprisingly not, with people preferring to liken the skillful Deulofeu to the buck toothed Brazilian wizard Ronaldinho instead. The Spanish youngster picked up that moniker around La Masia aged 14 and the hype has continued up to the present day where he is on the fringes of Tito Vilanova's squad at 18 years old. The hype over his talent has also been spotted by Nike, who handed him a salary of 150,000 euros back when he was a wee nipper, just 4 years ago, making him the sportswear giant's biggest sponsorship gamble since....

Let me guess.. Lionel Messi?

Yes, this time you're correct! Have yourself a gold star.

Perhaps not as audaciously talented as the Argentinean, though Deulofeu has some of the same characteristics at youth level. Often able to whiz past 4-5 players and beat a startled goalkeeper with consummate ease, his skill and trickery bamboozled so many as he helped Spain breeze to under-19 European Championship glory in the summer. His awesome form for Barcelona B this season, which has seen him net 7 goals in 11 games, convinced Vilanova he was worthy of fighting for a spot among his juggernaut, and so he got a short run out vs Spartak Moscow in the Champions League.

Convinced Vilanova?

To a degree yes. The new Barca boss was reported to be mulling over the idea of shipping the young striker out on loan with a desperate Liverpool lurking, but after a couple of short appearances under his predecessor Pep Guardiola, curiosity got the better of him and so he was kept on. Curiosity about such hype that saw Nike throw money at him when he was 12. Such hype that so many people call him a future Ballon D'Or winner.

Good then, so why doesn't he play more?

Good question. You'd think that Barcelona of all places wouldn't be averse to giving an opportunity to a youngster, especially one as brilliantly gifted as this young fellow. But there is a claim that Deulofeu is perhaps struggling with an over-sized ego, a character that knows he is good too much and likes to over-indulge in his talents. For more, read this, there is a over-hanging feeling that Gerard may not realise his potential due to his characteristic flaws.

No comments:

Post a Comment