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EL CLÁSICO

Who is Fermín López? Barcelona youngster scores against Real Madrid in US Clásico

20-year-old López stole the show in Dallas with a superb strike from distance and an assist for Ferran Torres.

Update:
20-year-old López stole the show in Dallas with a superb strike from distance and an assist for Ferran Torres.
Kevin JairajUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

In any Clásico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, host of household names come up against one another, no matter the era. Saturday’s friendly in Dallas was no exception, although it was a rather less-known player, Fermín López, who ultimately stole the headlines.

A goal and an assist for López against Madrid

The 20-year-old came on in the 66th minute of the stateside Clásico and scored Barça’s second goal in a 3-0 win, spectacularly lashing the ball past Thibaut Courtois from the edge of the penalty box with five minutes of the game left remaining. And to top his cameo off, the youngster, wearing the number 29 jersey, played a delightful through ball for Ferran Torres to complete the scoring in injury time.

When did López join Barça?

López, who hails from the province of Huelva in the autonomous community of Andalusia in southern Spain, spent some time in the youth academies of Recreativo de Huelva and Real Betis before switching to Barcelona in 2018 at the age of 15. After impressing in different under-age teams, the midfielder signed his first professional contract with Barcelona Atlètic, the club’s reserve team, last summer but was immediately sent out on loan to Linares Deportivo, an Andalusian club a little closer to home.

Midfielder to be given first-team opportunities in 2023/24

He scored 12 goals in 37 matches for the Spanish third-tier team last season but first team head coach Xavi Hernández has stated he will very much be staying put this time around after two impressive displays on Barça’s US tour (López also played 45 minutes in the 5-3 defeat to Arsenal): “Fermín Lopez will not leave on loan. He will stay with the first team this season. We think he can help us throughout the season”, Xavi confirmed after the win over Madrid.

Despite his roots, López, who can play various midfield roles and as a winger, revealed after the match he had always been a Barcelona fan and that as a child he dreamed of playing for the first team. “I still can’t believe it, I didn’t expect to play”.

Although he will likely be part of Barça Atlètic’s roster for most of 2023/24, López had better start believing and expecting, with Xavi’s words suggesting he will be given opportunities in the first team in the coming weeks and months.