MARC MUNIESA, who became Stoke City’s second signing of the summer of 2013, boasts a rich pedigree having been schooled by footballing super power Barcelona.
In fact, Muniesa made his debut for Barcelona in La Liga as a 17-year-old and in the process became the second youngest player to make a first team appearance for the Catalan club.
It was a debut to forget as he was harshly red-carded but his elevation to the first team scene was confirmation of his rich potential, which had reportedly been spotted by Chelsea who were strongly linked with him as a teenager.
A few days after his debut he was named among the substitutes for the 2009 Champions League Final against Manchester United but he didn’t get chance to join the action as Barca ran out 2-0 winners in Rome.
He was a regular starter for Barcelona B, who play in the Second Division of Spanish football, and underlined his versatility by operating either in the centre of defence or at left back.
Muniesa’s Barcelona contract expired at the end of last season – at which point Stoke swooped to add him to their Britannia Stadium squad.
He’s also no stranger to international football, having represented Spain at Under-16, 17, 19 and 21 levels. He was a member of the Spanish squad that retained the European Under-21 Championship in Israel in June ’13.