El Centrocampista

ADÉU BOJAN – Favourite memories of a contemporary idol

By Lee Roden

I have always felt a certain affinity to Bojan Krkić, albeit for a pretty insubstantial reason.

You see, the Catalan and myself are roughly the same age, a mere 21. When I was younger, it was an incredible feeling to have a contemporary become a rising star on the Barça stage – a completely new experience for a 16 year old. Most of my football heroes were in their twenties at least. Even Leo Messi had a good few years on me. So when Bojan Krkić broke through the ranks under Frank Rijkaard, I was incredibly excited by his potential.

Today FC Barcelona confirmed that Bojan will be a Roma player next season, for a minimum of two years. In truth this is probably his best option; to gain first team football then, when his confidence has returned, to come back and hopefully occupy a place in the Barça starting eleven, not just the bench.

As we bid a (possibly) temporary farewell to Bojan, I would like to present my five favourite moments in the short, stop-start, yet often wonderful career of the Catalan forward.

5- Copa Del Rey final vs. Athletic de Bilbao- 2009

Bojan completed Guardiola’s first title as a Barça manager with a wonderful finish. An often forgotten stat from the treble winning season under Pep is that Bojan finished as Barça’s second top scorer in the Copa, just one goal beneath Leo Messi. It is fitting that he would score in the final.


4- La Liga vs. Sevilla – 2011

The 2010-11 season was a difficult one for Bojan, rarely scoring and showing less confidence than previous campaigns. Injury also marred his playing time and performances. Much like his season in general, the goal that broke his duck came in  a peculiar fashion, with the striker literally following the ball into the net after touching on a sublime pass by Andres Iniesta. Let’s hope Bojan’s Barça career moves forward better than the man who tackles him at the end of this video- Martin Caceres.


3- La Liga vs. Recreativo De Huelva- 2007

Bojan’s first goal at the Camp Nou came, remarkably, when he was just 16. His potential seemed endless, and who would have argued otherwise at the time?

2- La Liga vs. Villarreal – 2010

As it became increasingly evident that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was hindering, rather than helping Barça’s prospects in the 2009- 2010 season, up stepped Bojan Krkić. In one of his most profitable periods in the Barça first team, Bojan scored 7 goals in 12 games during the last stretch of the season, helping to secure the league title. My personal favourite from this period is his goal against Villarreal, displaying his drive, skill and finishing ability to perfection.


1- The goal that could have been. Champions League vs. Inter Milan – 2010

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin for Bojan’s career at Barça came not last season, but the year prior in the Champions League semi-final against Inter Milan. After being fed through by Yaya Toure, Bojan emphatically curled the ball into the net past Julio Cesar. The referee thought otherwise however, and the goal never stood. The decision to give handball against Toure is debatable at best, but what is certain is that, in that moment, Bojan’s potential to be written into Barça history was altered. If the goal had counted, Barça would probably have made it to the final in the Bernabeu, and Bojan would forever be associated with facilitating this- much like Iniesta’s last minute strike against Chelsea the season before. It was not to be however. Football is cruel, and minutia can often have a great impact on a player’s career.


As Bojan heads for new pastures he will be hoping to re-find his form of previous years and improve as a player. As speculation mounted in the last few weeks over his future, the player made no secret of his determination to succeed in the Camp Nou. The nature of the deal agreed with Roma suggests Pep Guardiola and others still have faith in his ability (Roma will have to fork out a whopping 40 million Euros to block Barça’s obligatory re-purchase of the player in 2013). Barça are wise not to write him off just yet. Similar mistakes have been made in the past with the likes of Ivan de la Peña during Louis Van Gaal’s reign. I believe that Bojan will return to the Camp Nou a more mature, more consistent and, overall, a better player, one day.

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