Barcelona’s young guns gave a tantalising glimpse into the future in the Wembley Cup on Sunday as the understudies to the European champions romped to a 4-1 win over African champions Al Ahly.
For the second time in three days, Barca boss Pep Guardiola opted to keep most of his stars wrapped in cotton wool as the likes of Thierry Henry, Xavi, Carles Puyol and Andres Iniesta were absent from a weakened Barca team.
But Guardiola’s precocious kids had impressed in their draw against a strong Tottenham team on Friday and they gave another eye-catching display in the pre-season tournament at England’s national stadium.
Bojan Krkic, 18, opened the scoring with a clinical finish before Hany El-Egezy equalised for Al Ahly. Jose Maria Rueda restored the Spanish champions’ lead with a thunderous strike and Jeffren Suarez, 21, and Pedro Rodriguez, 21, added to that lead after half-time.
While Barca’s homegrown talents stole the show, Guardiola also gave Lionel Messi his first pre-season appearance as a half-time substitute and the Argentina superstar came in for some heavy tackles from Al Ahly’s frustrated defenders.