21st Century Cracks: Sanz, class and balance at La Masia

Álvaro Sanz, 19, is one of the pearls that Barcelona has in its quarry to occupy a demarcation that It is especially important in the first team system: defensive midfielder. In the last decade the spotlights and covers were usually for others (Messi, Iniesta …) but the balance provided by Sergio Busquets is essential.

In that role, few know how to sacrifice themselves as much for the team as Álvaro Sanz. He is a midfielder with great physical power. In fact, in the locker room they know him as ‘the tank’ because he has a very powerful lower body with which he ‘coils’ rivals when he has to go to shock. Those characteristics blend perfectly into Barça's style, that someone in that profile needs. In addition, Sanz has the technique and vision of the game when it comes to associating and getting the ball played. It is versatile, because it has adapted to the central position when necessary.

Its characteristics were perfectly seen in the semifinals that Spain U19 played against France in the Eurocup last summer. The French based their options on physics. Álvaro went to the championship being a year younger (it was for those born in 2000 and he was born in 2001). He started off the bench in the 59 'and his contribution was decisive to withstand the French push in the final stretch of regulation time and overtime (La Rojita won on penalties). With the physical waste he made, no one would have thought he was a year younger without going to the technical file.

Sanz began to give his first touches to the ball in Caspe, the Aragonese municipality of 9,500 inhabitants where he grew up. His first team was the Caspe School, where he caught the attention of the Real Zaragoza scouts, they signed him in the second year of Benjamin. That was a sacrifice for Álvaro's parents, who had to travel at least three times a week the 100 kilometers that separate Caspe from Zaragoza. He, meanwhile, took advantage of the journeys to do his homework and study. A common sacrifice that had a reward: in 2015 he signed for Barcelona and went to live in La Masia.

This year has been one of the key pieces in Juvenil A of Barcelona and now, after the break by Covid-19, He has been called to train with the subsidiary, a team to which the next course will belong. The idea is that next season he will be a very important player at Barça B and that he already has a few minutes with the first team. In addition, this year he will also play for the second consecutive year the U19 Euro Cup (not yet dated), this time with players of his age. The challenge is huge: defend the title won and get the ticket for the U-20 World Cup to be played in 2021.