Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has taken the opportunity, on Saturday evening, to single an up-and-coming member of his first-team ranks out for special praise.
Barca, of course, were back in action earlier this afternoon.
After being brought crashing back down to earth courtesy of a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich during the week, the Blaugrana welcomed Elche to the Camp Nou, eyeing a return to winning ways.
And, when all was said and done, get firmly back on track is precisely what the evening’s hosts went on to do.
A dominant display ultimately gave rise to a 3-0 triumph on Barca’s part, with Robert Lewandowski at the double once more, either side of Memphis Depay’s first goal of the La Liga season late in the first-half.
It was not Depay, nor the in-form Lewandowski, however, who went on to steal the headlines post-match in Catalunya on Saturday afternoon.
Instead, this honour was reserved for an emerging star in the Blaugrana’s ranks.
The player in question? Alejandro Balde.
Regular viewers of Barcelona will be well aware of starlet Balde’s talents, after the left-back was afforded seven appearances across the length of the 2021/22 campaign.
With five La Liga starts already under his belt to this point in the current campaign, though, it has quickly become clear why the 18-year-old has so long been held in such high regard amongst the powers that be in the Catalan capital.
Versus Elche, Balde bagged for himself added to his assist haul for the term on a pair of occasions, teeing up both Lewandowski’s opener, and Depay’s ensuing finish a short time later.
In turn, it should come as little surprise to hear of his boss being full of praise for the Spanish talent post-match.
Speaking to the media on the back of his side’s latest three-point haul, Xavi gushed:
“It never ceases to amaze me that a kid of Balde’s age is playing as well as he is. He will give us a lot. His physical condition is barbaric.”