What happened to Barcelona's famous Class of 2003 - La Masia's greatest academy team

Barcelona's youth team could rival Man Utd's Class of '92

Barcelona are famous for many things, including their impressive La Masia academy. 

The likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi, Carles Puyol and even Pep Guardiola once turned out for the Blaugrana's youth sides. 

Often, we hear about Manchester United's famous Class of '92 that eventually became known as the greatest academy team of all time. 

But what if we were to tell you Barca's under-15 side from 2003 could well challenge them for the title? 

Don't believe us?

Well, check out what happened to each member of the star-studded team, which included Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique. 

Dani Plancheria

Goalkeeper Dani Plancheria played most of his career in Spain's lower leagues after graduating from La Masia. 

He played for Barca's B team under Guardiola, helping to get them promoted back to Spain's third tier, before joining a number of lower league clubs. Plancheria is recently retired. 

Plancheria is far left, Barca's U15 goalkeeper

Jose Hinojosa

Hinojosa shared a room with Fabregas at Barcelona but never made it as a professional himself. Instead, he coaches young footballers in Catalonia and plays for local amateur side Martinenc. 

Gerard Pique

No prizes for recognising this one. Pique has made a massive 527 appearances for the Blaugrana and also spent four years at Man United. 

He's won every honour imaginable - multiple times - including La Liga titles, Champions Leagues, European Championships and even the World Cup. 

Pique has won it all with Barca

Marc Valiente

Valiente was an imposing defender and captained Barca at youth level, but made just one appearance for the first team. 

He found success elsewhere though and turned out for Sevilla and Real Valladolid, before joining Sporting Gijon in 2019. 

Cesc Fabregas

There's not much we need to say about Fabregas, one of the most iconic La Masia graduates. 

After leaving Barca he established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world at Arsenal, before moving back to Camp Nou to win La Liga.

He then returned to England and joined Chelsea, winning the Premier League there and cementing his legacy as one of the top flight's greatest ever players, before joining Monaco last year. 

Fabregas is a World Cup winner

Roger Giribet

Rather incredibly, Giribet signed for Barca on the exact same day as Messi. Sadly, his career didn't quite match the Argentine. 

The defender didn't make it into the first team and like goalkeeper Plancheria, has spent most of his career in the lower leagues. Giribet currently turns out in the regional sixth tier of Spain. 

Lionel Messi

Do we really need to say anything about Messi? He's the greatest footballer of all-time and has forged a legacy that will rarely ever be matched. 

Six Ballon d'Or wins, 35 major trophies, 637 goals and 626 Barca appearances have followed after he graduated from La Masia. It's unlikely the club will ever see anyone like him again. 

Messi is the greatest of all-time

Franck Songo'o

Sonog'o never quite made it at Camp Nou, but did secure a move the Premier League in 2005 when he joined Portsmouth. 

He played twice for them, before joining Bournemouth, Preston, Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday on loan. 

It's fair to say Sonog'o never really cracked English football and returned to Spain for spells with Real Zaragoza and Albacete, before moving to MLS with Portland Timbers. He retired in 2014. 

Songo'o played in MLS

Julio de Dios Moreno

Here's another midfielder that never made it to the top. After leaving Barca at 20, Moreno went on to play for nine of Spain's lower league teams. 

He's currently turning out for Huesca's reserve side SD Ejea, regularly coming up against Barcelona's B team. 

Eugenio 'Pitu' Plazuelo

Pitu was another impressive youth player who couldn't crack the first team. He left Catalonia to play for Mallorca's B team, before joining five other lower-tier clubs. 

He's currently in his second spell at Cerdanyola, playing in the fourth division. 

Pitu never made it at the top level

Juanjo Clausi

Clausi's claim to fame is that he took all the set-pieces for Barca's youth side - ahead of Messi and Fabregas. But that's about the only thing he has over the pair. 

He left the club while still very young and played for a ridiculous 15 different teams - making him one of Spain's notorious journeyman players. 

Clausi is now at Paterna CF, playing in the fourth tier. 

Clausi couldn't crack the Barca first team

So there we have it, Barcelona's famous Class of '03. Of course, not everyone was destined for a career at the top.

But with Messi, Fabregas and Pique in the youth team, is there enough to call it one of the greatest academy sides ever? We certainly think so.  

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