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African Starlet Makes Barca Debut

A Guinea-born starlet made his FC Barcelona debut on Thursday night, becoming the 16th African player in the club's history.

Read: Pique Appoints His Ex-Coach For His Club

Midfielder Ilaix Moriba started in the Blaugrana's Copa del Rey tie against Cornella on Thursday, making his much-awaited debut for the club.

The 18-year-old featured for 74 minutes before being replaced by Sergio Busquets, with Barcelona needing extra time to beat the Segunda B side that knocked out Atletico Madrid in the previous round.

Moriba was born in Conakry, Guinea, but moved to Europe at a young age before joining Barca's famed La Masia academy in 2010, at the age of seven.

Here are the 15 other African players who have featured for Barcelona:

He has been making waves in the club's youth teams since, and was even targeted by Manchester City and Juventus before he signed a professional contract that contains a €100 million (R1.8 billion) release clause.

Having turned 18 on 19 January, he has also been compared to Paul Pogba due to his physicality and goal threat.

"(The feelings) have been magnificent since the coach told me that I would be in the line-up," he said after his senior Barca debut, as quoted by Marca.

"Today, I could hardly sleep.

"I am very happy and very grateful to the coach and the teammates. I thought (my debut) would never arrive and it is the best birthday present."

Read: The Top-Scoring Goalkeepers Of The Past Decade

Moriba has become the 16th African player to feature for the Blaugrana, but, while he holds both Spanish and Guinean citizenship, he did represent Spain at the U17 FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2019.

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