El Centrocampista

Who is Cristian Tello? Introducing Barcelona’s latest wonderkid

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Cristian Tello is the latest player to burst onto the scene at Futbol Club Barcelona, making an impressive full la liga debut in tonight’s 2-1 victory over Real Sociedad.

It was a confident, goal-scoring performance from the 20-year-old winger and one which again justifies Pep Guardiola’s unshaking belief in his young starlets.

Tello got his first taste of football in the senior side when he scored a brace during the 9-0 Copa del Rey route of L’Hospitalet in Decmeber. He certainly did enough to impress Guardiola and the coach gave him his league debut as a late substitute during last week’s draw at Villarreal.

His cameo performance gave an exciting glimpse of the latest jewel in the la Masia crown.

Born on 11 August 1991 in Sabadell, a city that sits to the north of the Catalan capital, Tello took his fledging steps as a footballer for local side CF Can Rull.

The eleven-year-old soon caught the eye of the Barcelona scouts that scour the region’s youth sides, and was invited to la Masia to join the ranks of an academy that already included the likes of Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas.

Tello began his Barça education in the Alevin A, where he became top scorer during the 2002/2003 season, before progressing through the Infantil B and A sides.

The young winger hit his first hurdle during a difficult season in Barcelona’s Cadete A side however, and was sent out on loan to CF Damm.

Despite a fairly successful season at the local side, his time at Barça seemed to have come to an unhappy end when he was allowed to join Espanyol in 2008.

This setback appeared to have put  pay to any hopes he had of wearing the famous la blaugrana again, however two stand out seasons at their city rivals led to his dramatic recall to the Camp Nou and Tello hasn’t looked back.

He was a key member of Luis Enrique’s B side last season and scored four goals in 22 Segunda Division appearances at the Mini Estadi.

Despite Enrique deprting to Serie A side Roma during the summer, Tello has continued in the same rich vein of form under new B team coach, Eusebio Sacristan.

An impressive five goals in 17 league starts for the B team, added  to his Copa del Rey performance, led to the youngster getting his chance last week at el Madrigal.

It was tonight’s performance that has really seen Tello announce himself to the world however and it was one which will have had many future opponents getting a sense of deju vu.

Tello is the archetypal Barcelona player. Two footed and comfortable on the ball, he also posses the air of confidence we have come to expect from graduates of their famous academy. Add to these attributes a devastating burst of pace and clinical finish, and you have a very exciting prospect indeed.

His penchant for running down the outside channel also seems to offer something slightly different to his coach – a wide player very much in the mould of Guardiola’s former team mate, Jon Andoni Goikotxea.

However, despite tonight’s victory, Barcelona still sit seven points behind their eternal rivals Real Madrid in the league table and are in grave danger of relinquishing their crown.

That may be hard for fans to take and it may even mark a shift in power back towards the capital, the jury is still out on that one, however one thing is certain – with players like Cristian Tello breaking into Barça’s senior side, the panic buttons won’t need to be dusted off just yet.




12 Comments

  1. FCB1899

    4 February, 2012 at 23:33

    Tello was great for the B team last season and I was really impressed when I saw him at the miniestadi in October. It was good to see him and Cuenca on the wings tonight – although it will be interesting to see how they both progress from here.

  2. FCB1899

    4 February, 2012 at 23:35

    And he should have had two goals – Dani Alves was off the pitch and it deflected off the Sociedad player!

  3. Iain McMullen

    5 February, 2012 at 09:17

    It’s great to see another youngster break into the senior team. He had a great game art night as well, I think Carlos Martinez was sick of the sight of Tello by the end of the night!

  4. Varun

    5 February, 2012 at 23:12

    He was fantastic for the Spanish U-19 side in the world cup last year as well.

    • Iain McMullen

      6 February, 2012 at 20:37

      He was. That burst of pace is devastating as well.

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