Bravo and Ter Stegen: The Importance of Experience In Football and The Need For Something New

For months, Barcelona fans knew that the club was close to signing Marc-André ter Stegen. Obviously, he was regarded as the perfect replacement for Victor Valdes.

Ter Stegen was known as the “next Neuer” and “one of the best young goalkeepers in the world”. I have never been a fan of young player hype because in most occasions everything that was said turns out to be false. However, it would be wrong to ignore that there is something very special about Ter Stegen.

News about Luis Enrique being interested in Real Sociedad’s goalkeeper Claudio Bravo began to emerge as well. Claudio did not exactly have the best record at Real Sociedad.

Many people doubted Bravo because of his errors at Real Sociedad. The club insisted on signing him anyway. While transfer rumors were flying in and out, Claudio Bravo was putting on an excellent performance for his country at the World Cup in Brazil.

So, Barcelona suddenly had two new goalkeepers who are both capable of being starters. Let’s take a deeper look at the two different styles of these goalkeepers.

Claudio Bravo:

Claudio is the ultimate example of a traditional goalkeeper. He does everything by the book. It’s as simple as pushing the ball away when it comes near your goal and catching it whenever you can. There is nothing too fancy about Claudio Bravo. Claudio is 31 years old and he gives the obvious impression of an experienced goalkeeper in his 30s and I am sure the examples in this category are endless. He is a goalkeeper coaches depend on purely for experience and character. Just like many of the older players on the field, he simply yells out: “Calm down, I’ve done this before”.

Experience is an attribute of extreme importance and this importance is gradually fading away because of rising young talents. This, however, is a disastrous mistake.

Many football fans, including myself, believe that having experienced centre-backs and goalkeepers is one of the most crucial parts of setting up a team. As shiny and new as young players may appear to be, chances are they might break under pressure and it happened a lot before. After all, most of the older excellent centre-backs and goalkeepers were once kids and committed several mistakes until they gained the character and experience that these two positions require.

Coaches want to look at the bench when selecting a lineup and seeing mature and confident players they can depend on precisely in defense. All of this brings me back to Claudio Bravo.

Experience factor aside, Claudio is a goalkeeper with excellent reflex and diving attributes. Throughout the season, he has shown that it takes a lot to beat him. Whether it’s a deflected shot, a header, a shot from outside the area, or any other type of danger, Claudio seemed very determined to prove what he is capable of. And honestly, he succeeded.

He managed 55 saves in La Liga this season. With the help of a very organized defense, he managed to keep 15 clean sheets. Barcelona conceded only 17 goals in La Liga this season. Obviously, the defense played a huge role in accomplishing that. To be even more accurate, it is worth pointing out that experienced centre-back, Gerard Pique, has been displaying a perfect mature character while playing. With such characters on the field, it becomes generally difficult for a defense to break.

Claudio Bravo is the traditional goalkeeper you would want to have on your team. However, he is not easy on the eyes. He won’t try to impress you or put on a show because probably he doesn’t even have the skills for it. He knows what he’s capable of, though. And from what the fans have seen this season, he is pretty damn good.

Ter Stegen

Ter Stegen arrived as the future of this club. He doesn’t completely occupy the present because Claudio Bravo is the goalkeeper in La Liga. However, many believe that this is a transitional phase for Ter Stegen and soon enough he is going to be recognized as Barcelona’s main goalkeeper.

Ter Stegen’s style of play is completely different to Claudio’s style of play. He has always been recognized as a goalkeeper who is good with his feet and it was the reason that made him a main target for a club like Barcelona. He crosses with both feet with excellent accuracy. He maintains a very calm attitude when dealing with the ball. He is more focused on how he is going to help start another attack for his team than simply saving the ball or pushing it away.  In many occasions, people tend to trust him much more with the ball.

Ter Stegen previously displayed how great he can be when he is forced to dive or jump for a ball. His athleticism is outstanding. He saved multiple shots that required excellent reflexes as well. Ter Stegen played against attacking giants like Ibrahimovic and Aguero in just a matter of months and has displayed a very confident growing character.

His character makes him stand out. Ter Stegen can shift from being confident to being cocky in a matter of seconds.  Deep down, fans love Ter Stegen because he brings something different and relatively new. He is the exciting young goalkeeper the world awaits. Let’s be honest, everyone loves a young exciting face.

Not so much could be said about Ter Stegen as fans have seen him much less than they’ve seen Claudio Bravo but Marc-André is definitely a keeper. (I’ll get my coat)

There has always been a debate around these two great goalkeepers. On one hand you have Claudio Bravo who expresses pure experience and the traditional image of a mature goalkeeper and on the other you have this exciting kid who adds something new and contributes to Barcelona’s style of play while being excellent between the bars as well.

Who do I pick? I pick both.

Bravo will continue to be the wall Barcelona depends on when the defense suffers while Ter Stegen will continue to grow to represent the unknown future that excites everyone.




  1. wish we had signed Courtois. He seemed kinda available before chelsea finally decided to ‘take the gamble’.

  2. Aaaah, Friday night, glass of (very) good Rioja and watching the Spanish NT to see how Iniesta/ Busi do.

    Just watched a sublime pass from Ini. I have a feeling that we have been watching the two most talented midfielders in the world and maybe not recognised it enough. Every other midfielder looks deficient technically when you’ve seen them. Ramos at the back but we can’t have everything. I want Pique off ASAP. However, it’s great to watch a match without the anxiety of last week. Lovely to hear Armstrong offering his in depth analysis that Pique has shown some improvement over the last few weeks. Hello ? This from a man who’s keepie up record probably stands at two.

    On another note good to see Xavi fleece Qatar for all its got if that’s where he chooses to go. He deserves it. Mind you, if I were Man U I’d be sending SAF over to say wait a minute we have exactly no midfield. How’d you fancy a wet Wednesday in Manchester?

    Sorry, Barca chief. Little acknowledgement of a decent article so far. I have to say I’m for sticking with Bravo at the moment and letting Ter Stegen win it off him. I think Bravo has generally been great and I want TS keen enough when he gets his chance in LE liga that he grabs it.

    Ouch. As I type, Ini hit from behind. Totally uncalled for. Yellow card at least justified.

    1. Just occurred to me. If any of our commentators, like myself, enjoy a rather good glass of Spanish red do you have any unusual suggestions for my next shopping trip ?

    2. I know I’m talking to myself but Iniesta has been awesome so far. He’s playing a much freer role than he has with us. Trust your mids, LE !

    3. Hello. A bit too late though.

      Even though Barca might not face Man United next season, I still wouldn’t want Xavi to play in EPL. He will find it really tough there and it will ruin his legacy.

  3. I cant believe that the Goalkeeper of Russia NT in the first minute of the game against Montenegro was hitted by something from the stands and he go to the hospital and the game still played.Shame.Ok it s obvious that Europe hate Russia but what politics have to do with sports!???And i hope Alba have nothing serious.

  4. I am really happy with our 2 shot stopper. As you have mentioned, both of them occur us two different dimensions, which a top club like Barca need. Our future is secure for the coming 10 years in our goal. Bravo, with his experience give us confidence. on the other hand, some shaky moments of young white German doesn’t let make me loss my confident either. Either way, i will be happy to see anyone of them between our post for the coming few season. Thanks for the good piece Sir!

  5. Bravo has had an amazing run in the league and his save on Benzema’s deflected shot in the classico may have been the save of the season. Nevertheless this team will never reach its full potential without Ter Stegen in goal. Like any young keeper who likes to take risks, he is going to look foolish at times so we are going to have to live with some growing pains. He could easily be the hero or goat of our CL run, something that would be unlikely with Bravo, but I’m fine with that. Hopefully he’ll have a much better night in Paris this time.

    Also, fingers crossed for Jordi!

  6. Interesting topic for an article, but I can’t say I wholeheartedly agree with its conclusion.

    For a long time I disagreed with the purchase of Claudio Bravo, as I felt the money was needed elsewhere on the pitch, but after last week (City, RM) I must recognize it was money well spent. His save on the Benzema deflection probably won us the game, and I might be one of the few culés who doesn’t drool whenever MATS is playing.

    Ter Stegen is great with his feet. He is excellent with his feet. He is amazing with his feet. The problem is that he is too good with his feet and this advantage has often turned disadvantage when his overconfidence leads to sloppy mistakes. What worries me was his reaction after his mistake against City, “that’s just the way I understand football.” A goalkeeper who “understands” he needs to dribble past Kun Aguero outside of the penalty area in the decisive leg of a Champions League knockout tie needs to go home and rethink his life, imo.

    What I remember from Ter Stegen this season so far:
    – some great passes and some amazing control with his feet (and chest)
    – some good saves (for saveable shots)
    – one excellent save
    – some mistakes at corners
    – some mistakes at shots
    – from the top of my head, three mistakes that resulted in a goal.
    – some other goals for which I would not exactly blame him but for which I nevertheless thought “a top goalkeeper would have pulled out a top save there”

    Will he come good eventually? He certainly has potential but from what I’ve seen he is nowhere near the elite.

    1. I feel though that with Bravo we play with 10 1/2. Not Bravo’s fault but with Mats our build up play should be better. Though over confidence is the quickest way down i feel its needed if a keeper is to play it from the back. Look at how keepers treat the back pass most times. Also Valdes was a ball player but struggled massively with his confidence. So Mats’s confidence in a way is welcome for me. As for the errors they will reduce with more playing time. It cant be easy playing every other month.

    2. Agreed with Levon. And I feel quite unfair that people under rate Bravo’s passing. At the top of my head, he has made more or less the same amount of unsuccessful passes as Ter Stegen although the latter played much less and is supposed to be excellent at it. I must add that Ter Stegen does attempt more mid range passes so maybe that’s why there’s more risk. Bravo’s short passes are good and his mid range passes are accurate too. I don’t see much difference with Ter Stegen really.

      I wasn’t sold on ter Stegen before we signed him and I’m not sold on him now. I’m glad we have Bravo. Ter Stegen from I constantly hear is a confident guy and he looks like it when he has the ball at his feet but besides that, he doesn’t look so confident to me. He looks nervous with high balls. It really brings back the days of young Valdes back to me. Great with feet but will make errors and looks nervy with other aspects.

      But since he’s our future, I think next season the arrangement should be the other way around. We will concede goals from his mistakes but I guess that is part of his learning curve.

  7. Since we have this boring international break can we have a poll??Whats your best XI??From all the teams in europe!With a 4-3-3 system!This is mine:Neuer-Juanfran-Pique-Pepe-Alaba-Busquets-Modric-Pogba-MSN;-)Yep i have 5 players from one team who is not very good according to its fans:-P

    1. I’ve always find it difficult to do these things. It’s difficult to select players without watching lots of matches of each one of them.

      I would like to ask you how many matches you’ve seen Pogba play? He’s a target and he’s so hyped up. From what I’ve seen so far is just a bunch of highlights of him shooting long range goals and a couple of skills. Is he any good at controlling tempo or making penetrating runs? Is he good in holding the ball, dribbling and passing under pressure?

    2. Oh and most importantly, does he track back?

      Our other target veratti looks the better player suited to our style from what I’ve seen between these 2. However we have Busquets in Veratti and we have Rakitic for Pogba so for both these players I think we’ve already got it covered. What we truly need is a Xavi type of player. The only player I can think of is someone that’s impossible to get; Modric. Besides him, I can’t think of anyone. The club just needs to convince Xavi to stay a couple more seasons. Beg him. Buy a few acres of land for him and grow mushrooms on it.

  8. Alba out for 10 days. Might miss 10 days but if we can’t beat Celta with Adriano at LB, we have a different set of problems. Messi “questionable” for the ARG friendlies. My guess is that Martino and Enrique had a little chat.

    Xavi off to Al Sadd, 3-year deal, big money and the chance to slide off into the sunset in style, on a big pile of cash. Good for him.

  9. I just don’t understand why he wants to downgrade already. He has at least another season at top level and a few more in a less demanding team. I can picture him in Serie A. It would be perfect for him.

    We need him at least another season or two. We don’t have anyone who can control the midfield and we can’t even buy anyone. This is just too soon for me. The team will suffer on and off the pitch without him.

    Going to Qatar seems too money motivated to me. The league is not competitive. The players in the team and league are a few levels below.

    MLS would be a better imo. At least there are lots ex top level footballers there.

    1. Of course it’s money motivated. Why shouldn’t it?

      Xavi has won absolutely everything there is to win, except for Ballon d’Or. What challenges remain for him? Serie A? How is that a challenge?

      If he steps down from the being in Barcelona, he might as well choose the best-paid offer. Al Sadd will probably give him a five-year’s salary in three, probably less if he can bring them trophies. And then he’d be set for life, ready to study and return to Barcelona if that’s what he wants. If that happens, the Club will meet him with open arms. And he will continue to be involved in Barcelona.

    2. I have to ask: why should it? If he hasn’t mismanaged his finances severely (which however, according to some rumors, he has) he should already be set for this life and the next with his Barca salary, no? Perhaps there is a challenge in being an ambassador for football, or being engaged in a football school. But I can’t help but to be critical of the relation between Qatar and Barca, and Xavi’s move would condone this further (but whatever, the WC will be played there, players will go and people will watch, despite all the deaths).

    3. I suspect he feels, like me, he had more to offer than he was being allowed to on the field. His people say nothing signed yet but he’d be crazy to turn down that sort of money to sit on our bench for the rest of the season watching others get the call in front of him. On another note, if he was the one keeping the peace between the squad and LE we could be in for an interesting end to the season if things don’t go well.

      I do think if he wants to come back at some point it’s a good thing to go off and learn his trade elsewhere rather than do a a Giggs at Man U.

    4. This is exactly right. Xavi is free to take any sweet deal that comes his way. But one of the reasons he is getting his huge payday is because he is lending his credibility and reputation to the dubious Qatari World Cup project just like much of the world of professional football.

    5. I wonder… Were u critical of Barça touring Israel knowing their human rights record? BDS Catalunya was hugely critical of Barça going there, to the 65 UN (which r all binding) resolutions breaking Israel, in a peace tour that if anything, made it look like 2 equal powers having conflict, when its oppressor against oppressed – 66 yrs of it, with all kinds HRW, Amnesty International, UNRWA violations of the worst kind… Including UNICEF (the childrens fund that Barça sponsors, including 1 that Messi is an ambassador for) looking to sue Israel.

      Wat was ur stance on this? U love Barça? Then i suspect u probably understand a bit of Catalan – then u should refer to BDS Catalunya for further details on this subject.

      Another thing, Barça’s almost mythical coach Guardiola, plied his trade in Qatar for 2 yrs with Al Ahli, & was a representative for Qatar’s world cup bid along with ppl like the Albiceleste’s legendary Gabriel Batistuta, & former culer, Ronald de Boer…

      Xavi will b following in the exact footsteps of his former mentor (if he goes), & the man he deputized for & eventually replaced amidst the almost club quitting pressure from the fans because he was to them, a “window wiper”.

      Kxevin will probably remove this, & unlike b4, i wont criticize him for it. But i will criticize u. Keep it football related. Its Barcelona Football Blog… I keep reading about Qatar this & that on here & i let it slide. If u r going to mention 1 Human Rights violator, then mention the worst of them too.

    6. SemperFi, the difference for me is that Qatar is the club’s main official sponsor, so I don’t see how Barca isn’t inextricably linked with the workers rights abuses in the preparations for the World Cup in that country. If Barca had a different sponsor, then its human rights record would also be relevant on a Barca forum. The same should be true for Qatar’s ambassadors who were paid millions of dollars for their endorsements advocating the World Cup being held there.

    7. What does Israel have to do with this? I am all for a two-state solution, and deeply critical of their politics. Perhaps it was wrong of Barca to go there, I can see the problem. But I really do not see how two wrongs make a right? I am wary of that kind of argumentation, and certainly do not agree that Barca visiting Israel means that their Qatar-relation cannot be criticized. I wrote a critical comment on Guardiola supporting the WC in Qatar, too, a choice so obviously affected by bribes and foul play, and with severe human violations as a consequence. Hard not to mix football and politics in such a context, I would say.

  10. I watched Pogba in 15 games this season,the most games were against the top Italian teams!He is IMO the future best midfielder in the world.Tall,strong,amazing technique,great penetrating runs,powerful shot,great dribbling.Veratti is a DM for me not an attacking midfielder.And i dont really like his attitude.I believe a midfield with Pogba Rafinha Denis Suarez Samper Halilovic is our future:-)

  11. I also must say that i have BIG expectations next season for Rafa Alcantara.IMO he can be a world class B2B midfielder.I know people will need time to use the idea that the new Barca will have not Xavi Iniesta but different type of midfield,because Lucho its obvious what really wants.And i am already exciting for our new adventure:-)

  12. And something about the rumour that we are interested in Glen Jhonson.I dont know about his injury past,but i watched the LFC-MADRID game and he beat Ronaldo the most times.I know that people will not like the idea,but i believe as a buck up RB will be good.He is free this summer.But it s truth that with only one game maybe i am wrong.

    1. Johnson is a total liability for me. There was a time he was the next big thing at FB but that has long gone and I’d rather have Alves tbh. With regard to the midfield it may be what LE wants but I have a feeling he himself won’t be here next year.

    2. LFC is my second favourite club & I’ve been watching their matches whenever time allow me. If I’m going to give Glen’s performance using a graph, it will show exponentially decreasing trend. I would happily keep Monty & Douglas in rb rathan than going for Glen.

  13. Thank u for the response!!As i said i watch him only in one game!!I trust your opinions!!!Jim why Lucho will not be here??Do u really want a 4 coach in 4 seasons??We need stability not a new coach every summer!!

  14. About Douglas i must say that is really wonderful to be paid a lot of money for taking part in some training sessions!!I believe our beloved brazilian every month send a check to Zubi with a big Thank U;-)

  15. A last comment!!!A lot of Barca fans dont like Luisito because he is a racist and his mistakes with biting.Ok lets say that is fair!!But the same time i see Barca fans say good things about lets see:Karim Benzena..What??The guy had sex with underage girl and i am sure he knew that.And who knows what other girls paid.Really??In the past Manchester United players when Ronaldo was there had orgies with prostitutes.Really??Ibra said so disgusting words about France.But he is a nice guy e??I can keep going on and on.So do u know my opinion?There is racism everywhere and sexism and most footballers are immature millionaires who dont give a fuck about womens or anything that happens in the world.There is a racism against Luis Suarez and i am a minority but i am proud that i have hin in the team.A Family man and not someone who pay teenagers for sex.

  16. I am glad that in our team we neve heard of players who paid for sex,orgies and all that disgusting things.So no i would never want in my team players like Ribery Benzema Ronaldo and many others.And i am suprised that women on twitter who support Barca hate Luis,but they dont have problem with sexism.I would like to hear the opinion from a woman for this.

    1. So you defend Suarez with vigor and vehemence, a man who has committed offenses for which he has been found guilty, including racist speech, kicking and biting 3 different opponents.

      Yet you crap on Douglas, whose only sin is that he doesn’t meet the standard of culers who don’t and essentially can’t evaluate talent. What is his offense? Working hard, absorbing knowledge and trying to earn a spot on the team.

      That is the difficulty with the culer double standard. Bravo was crap, team should have gotten Navas, who can’t even displace Casillas, or Ochoa, who is warming the Malaga bench behind Kameni. Mathieu wasn’t good enough, etc, etc.

      If someone can defend Suarez, I don’t understand why Douglas would get any scorn, unless the game actually values different things. If that is the case, Ribery and Benzema’s escapades are fine as long as they are playing well, right? But that Douglas … now THAT is disgusting.

  17. My point is simple:If Suarez is racist because he said something to Evra then how we call someone who pay a teenage girl for sex??I did not heard from any Madrid or Bayern fan that they dont want Benzema or Ribery.So in this world of football who is full of saints and the only Devil is Suarez,as the media say,yes i will defend him with all my heart.And when you find from a player who was in the same team with Luis all those years,evidence that he is Racist i will believe it.But lets close this here,we will never agree.

  18. The writer wrote about our two GK’s. Sorry to jump to the midfield (I don’t know whether Kxvin is about to write it as well), considering Xavi is leaving this summer, our option is too slim on the bench. Busi, Rakitić, Iniesta, Rafinha, Sergi R. In order to compete in all competitions where ending any one without trophy is considered as a failure, I am not sure how can we manage with such a thin midfield. I honestly trust in each and every one of our players, but injuries are a part of game. But right now we are not allowed to go shopping. Our B players can help us upto certain extend, but what about european competitions and difficult league fixture…. Also, we really need all of our MSN stay healthy especially as long as 4-3-3 is to be adopted. These are my concerns…

    1. Iniesta, Rakitic, Rafinha, Sergi Roberto, Busquets, Mascherano, Samper and possibly Denis Suarez competing for three spots. I think the team can manage, especially if Hallilovic gets the occasional call from Barca B.

      Also, the team cannot sign new players this summer – but it will be able to sign in the winter window, if it’s needed.

      I’m more concerned about Pedro leaving, to be honest. Without him the team would lack the squad player with experience, who is ready to be the quintessential power sub that works his ass for the team. Munir and Sandro… even if they do have the stamina and the desire, they lack the experience. Still, I suppose they could work in that role.

    2. We can sign in the summer. Just that they won’t be able to play for us until the ban is over in January 2016. So what the club has to do is loan the player back to their club so that they will still get to play. Best solution is to sign a non Cup tied player and the best non tied club(s) would be Borussia and probably Man Utd. From those 2 teams there is Gundogan, di Maria and Ander Herrera who all could be targets.

    3. Denis Suarez and Halilovic will both be essential players next season; S. Roberto will almost certainly be shipped out in the summer. Samper looks like serious business if he can find a niche for himself. i’m actually more optimistic about our midfield options next season than this season, IF some of our youngsters can come good.

      defense is another issue. Dani, while certainly not the player he was (and indeed often looking disinterested) is still the best right-back at the club, and he’s for sure leaving in the summer. i wouldn’t trust Montoya in big games, and Adriano (while loveable and a great squad player) has some noticeable flaws. Douglas will never have the confidence of the coaching staff. Vermaelen we still haven’t seen, and Mathieu’s age remains a concern. though overall the defense, in this newer more “elastic” system, looks more comfortable *actually defending* than playing as auxiliary defensive midfielders. perhaps someone can give us a run-down of the talent coming through the B system for defenders?

  19. Whats going on in Spain with the tax??Now they say that Xavi have problems and he did not pay 4m in taxes.I believe if he go to Qatar it will be for the money.I hope he will not make that mistake.I dont understand how we call democracy a system that we all normal people pay our taxes and the rich always find ways to escape.Only USA have a fair tax system and they dont afraid the power of rich people.

  20. Neymar always had lots of personality & u could see it. In the beginning it looked like he was just a hustler of a kid, but the lad has colorful pulling power. A natural around ppl. Temperamental sure, but there’s no denying this dude has charisma. How can a dressing room not b great with the likes of Alves; -that racism eater that wanted to offer his liver to Abidal-, & Neymar in it? Never a dull moment with those 2 kidders around. Reminds me a bit of that other phenom Brazilian, Ayrton Senna… Wat a special human being! While he was alive he donated millions to under privileged children in Brazil, & his organization has helped millions of children after his death.

    Alexis Sanchez hails Neymar

  21. Another beautiful moment of football today with Neymar very lucky to escape a friendly act of Gary Medel.I am sure the Chilean will not be have any punishment.And why the ref to punish Medel??He just tried to break a leg.Not to bite!!

  22. Its 2015 and people say that Zidane is a legend,a player with class and blah blah.One of the dirtiest players.I remember two great acts.One in 1998 WC when he used his foot to say a friendly word to a Saudi Arabian player who was in the ground and offcourse the 2006WC when he hin with all the power an Italian player in a very dangerous part of human body.But who cares!!!I hope he will be the next madrid coach so i will hate them even more!!!

  23. Stop trying to defend the indefensible ( Douglas) with the laziest of arguments sporting fans use ” Well YOURE NOT THE SCOUT/COACH how dare you think you know better!” Lazy argument

    1. I think Douglas is not as bad as he was made to be. Given time and trust, I still believe he can perform well. He has lost the confidence in those few games he had. I will give my conclusion when I witness him playing atleast 5/6 full matches. Our highly rated Cuadrado was not at all good either in Chelsea till now. Only time will tell, so I don’t want to conclude right now.

  24. One question about the FIFA ban,if someone can help,thanks in advance!!I know that Two of the kids are from Europe,one France and the other from Holland.I thought that the ban was for kids from Asia America or Africa.What was the problem with these two european kids??The other teams from Europe how can have kids from Asia or Africa and that is ok??

    1. I believe there’s a different terms and conditions for EU and non EU’s. If I’m not mistaken, Peter or someone have clarified it in the comment section before, in the article during the beginning of the ban was impose. Like 16yrs of age and 18yrs of age respectively for EU & non EU. However, there’s different condition too if the child move to SPAIN etc.

    2. The ban is on all players who are less than 18 years of age, except in the European union.

      In the EU players aged 16 can move and sign freely.

      Other than that, young players can move and play for a club in a neighbouring country, provided the new club is very close to the border.

  25. Oh i just saw the rules for under18 players who can transfer to another country!!One of the rules is that if the home place of a player is 100km from the club,he can transfer to them.Yeah but if u look Spain Madrid is in the centre of the country and Barcelona is not.So they have the chance to look in a bigger area of the country for talents!!Is that fair??Another rule is that if the parents of the player move to country for non footballing reasons.But how FIFA can investigate that??If a team see in Japan a big talent and find the parents and then the team find jobs for the parents??And then the parents move to the country how FIFA can know the truth??I cant believe that the only team in the world who broke those rules is Barca.

  26. And the big question:Barca broke that rules for U18 players.Why the ban affect players who are Over 18??I cant see any justice in this.Any logic.

    1. The ban is on the football club as a whole. The club, as a whole, was judged to have breached the regulations, which is why the club’s football section cannot sign players.

      Players can leave the club, but new cannot be signed as players.

      Which is why Barcelona legally can sign a contract say for Reus, but for the future, because Reus cannot play for Barcelona. to play in competition it requires signing the player on the roster and he cannot be transferred/signed until the winter window.

  27. So a U18 player from Belgium have more rights than an U18 player from Ukraine!Sory for my comments for a matter who belongs to the past but i am suprised by those rules.Because if the biggest U18 talent is Spain leaves 95km from Madrid and 200km from Barcelona,we cant sign him.And if a team have a president with a lot of companies so he can give jobs to parents,this team have a advance to others.Well i stop here and lets hope that they will change those rules.

    1. Within the country the distance doesn’t matter, but yes, a 16-year player from the European Union has more options, precisely because the EU policy of free movement within the borders of the EU, combined with the labour laws, allow this to happen. The players are protected by these laws, which is what enables them to make decisions earlier.

      Mind you, there are still differences. In Spain players that are not legal adults cannot be legally employed as professionals – which is why they have to stay in the reserves and usually cannot be given contracts with buy-out clauses that make it impossible for another team to come and just carry him away.

      The lack of such contracts means that if say Arsenal comes and takes a young prospective player(like they did with Fabregas and Bellerin), Barça is only given a compensation for the costs of the player’s “education” at the academy according to a table. This is why Wenger is known as the “cradle robber” in Spain.

      However, no such protections in general exist for foreign young players, which is why the line is drawn at the “international” legal adulthood age.

      The regulations were created for a reason, but FIFA did a hatchet job of it. I’ve said it before, the regulations are written in such a way as to require the least action from FIFA and at the same time get as many votes from the delegates of the countries.

      Why? Because under these regulations, young players are effectively property. Valuable property of their respective federations. A player of 18 years of age brings much more profit in terms of transfer fees than a 15-year old one.

      One way out would be if FIFA sanctions the creation of what is basically La Masia – “sport schools” affiliated with a football club. The players receive mandatory education, boarding and at the same time are guaranteed their future – because if such a center accepts a player, it would not be able to dump the kid if he turns out he isn’t as good as imagined(which is what used to happen before, and the reason why the regulations were created in the first place).

      But FIFA doesn’t want to move its finger; the national federations don’t want to lose prospective talents and the transfer fees; many clubs lack the infrastructure and the means to maintain such schools, so they won’t profit from the availability of such centers. Only relatively few top teams can actually spend such sums (I’ve read that the maintenance of La Masia is upwards of 10 million every year), which means that de facto only the richest clubs can get something out of it. This is why it’s difficult to change the regulations – too much opposition.

  28. Peter how we can sign players from teams who they will play in CL or EL next season?They will be cup tied.I cant see any player come to Barca from these teams.Whats ur opinion?

    1. My opinion is that practically everything can be solved for an additional sum.

      Let’s take a hypothetical example in Pogba:

      Say Pogba is transferred as a future player. A clause in that contract can stipulate that the player will not be playing Champions League until the transfer window, but will receive all corresponding bonuses of Juventus’ performance in the CL until that point, paid by Barcelona.

      See, there are lots and lots of clauses in these contracts, there are literaly dozens of them, about minutes played, goals, assists, individual and collective trophies, etc.

      Essentially, the selling club gets the whole sum, but gets to keep the player for the first four months of the season for domestic competition, but at the same time they will be extra-careful with him, because he’s just “loaned” to them and they may be paying through the nose if he’s not available through injury.

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