Pau Cubarsi NXGNGetty

Pau Cubarsi: The next great Barcelona centre-back ready to be the Gerard Pique replacement Xavi needs

Rarely are footballers good enough to be fast-tracked into the Barcelona first team. Most rise through the ranks steadily, awaiting opportunities before emerging into the side in their early-20s. Barca, in fact, haven't had a top-tier centre-back emerge from La Masia in years.

That might just have changed with the arrival of Pau Cubarsi. The lanky centre-back has benefitted from the Blaugrana's injury crisis, and emerged as a potential world-class central defender, keeping himself in the XI with a series of impressive performances.

Indeed, this is a refined central defender with the 'pausa' and smarts who seems set to last at the top level for a long time. But who is Cubarsi, where is he from, and why could he be in line for a Spain call-up so soon after his 17th birthday? GOAL takes a look at La Masia's latest jewel...

Article continues below