Who is Fermín López, Barça’s 20-year-old rising star who burst onto the scene this weekend with a stunner against Real Madrid?

Few of the 82,000 spectators who packed AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for Saturday’s pre-season meeting between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid would have ever heard the name of Fermín López before taking their seats. But, the fans all left knowing they’d just witnessed the biggest moment so far in this rising star’s career.

The 20-year-old grasped his opportunity after coming on as a 66th-minute substitute, blasting a cannonball past Thibaut Courtois before demonstrating his poise on the ball to set up a Ferran Torres goal and complete FC Barcelona’s 3-0 win over their rivals.

Fermín López’s strike was one of the best goals seen anywhere on the planet this pre-season and he passionately celebrated it in the corner of the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium, aware that this moment was the culmination of years of hard work in the Catalan club’s La Masia academy.

Speaking to the media after the match, he explained: “I’ve been a Culé since I was a kid. I didn’t expect to get on today. Then, when I went on, I received the ball, saw the goal, went forward, struck the ball with all my soul and it went in. I’m living a dream. I can’t believe what has just happened, but I have to keep working hard.”

There was good reason, though, to believe that Fermín López would be given some minutes in the match against Real Madrid, as he’d already played 45 minutes in the LALIGA EA SPORTS champions’ other warm-up game so far, when they faced Arsenal in California. It was also clear from the team’s training sessions during their US tour that the academy graduate was one of the most impressive youngsters to have made the trip.

Pedri was one of the FC Barcelona stars to comment on the 20-year-old’s quality even before FC Barcelona’s first pre-season game. As the Canary Islander put it: “I like him a lot. I hadn’t had the pleasure of playing with him before and I can see that he has a lot of grit and, above all, a lot of quality.”

Fermín López is also very versatile. In his young career, he has already performed in a variety of roles, playing as an attacking midfielder, a winger and even as a false nine. Born in Huelva in Andalusia, he progressed through the academies of Recreativo de Huelva and Real Betis as a young boy, before moving to La Masia in 2016 at the age of 13 and standing out despite his small frame.

For the 2022/23 season, the young attacker was transferred on loan to Linares Deportivo to play in the third tier Primera RFEF division, where he scored 12 goals and provided four assists, all while wearing the No.10 shirt. That experience certainly served him well and he was one of seven youth-teamers to jet off with the FC Barcelona first team for the pre-season tour of the USA. Without a doubt, Fermín López is the one to have made the most of the opportunity.

As Xavi Hernández put it after Saturday’s victory over Real Madrid: “I like what I’m seeing from him. Today, he made the difference, scoring with his left foot and assisting with his right. He is a talented footballer, who can play the final ball and play with both feet. I see a lot of personality in him. He has hunger and desire. When I see him training, I realise I have to give him minutes. If I give him minutes, it’s because he deserves it. I think he can help us this season.”

It’s clear that Xavi is a fan of Fermín López, a rising star who could make his official FC Barcelona debut in LALIGA EA SPORTS very soon.

MG Team

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