Marc Guiu Paz had a debut to remember for Barcelona as he scored the only goal of the game against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday. The 17-year-old striker came off the bench in the 79th minute and found the net with his first touch, just 23 seconds after entering the pitch. He became the youngest player to score on debut for Barcelona, breaking the record set by Ansu Fati in 2019.
Guiu was overjoyed with his historic feat and thanked his teammates and manager Xavi for their trust and support. “I can’t breathe. I’m just enjoying the moment, I’m still flying,” he said after the match. “I have been working hard all season to take any chances should they come. When I saw the goalkeeper coming off his line, I decided to shoot.”
A product of La Masia and a prolific goalscorer
Guiu is a product of La Masia, Barcelona’s famed academy that has produced some of the world’s best players such as Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique. He joined the club in 2013 when he was just seven years old, coming from the Penya Barcelonista de Sant Celoni, a fan club of Barcelona.
Standing at 1.87 meters, Guiu is a classic number nine, a specialist in the penalty area who exploits his physical power, speed and finishing ability. He has been compared to Robert Lewandowski, one of his idols and role models. He has scored five goals in five games for the under-19 team this season and has also represented Spain at youth level.
A bright future ahead under Xavi’s guidance
Guiu is one of the many young talents that Xavi has promoted to the first team since taking charge of Barcelona in June 2023. The former midfielder and club legend has shown confidence in the home-grown players and has given them opportunities to shine. Another example is Lamine Yamal, a 16-year-old winger who became the youngest player to appear in a competitive fixture for Barcelona in April and scored his first league goal earlier this month.
Xavi has praised Guiu’s potential and personality and has encouraged him to keep working hard and improving. “He is a player I personally like a lot, and I have no qualms about using home-bred players, because we have loads of talent here,” Xavi said. “They put the same kind of trust in me in my day.”
Guiu’s goal against Bilbao was not only important for his personal career, but also for Barcelona’s season. The win means that the Catalan club remains in touching distance with the top of La Liga, one point behind Real Madrid and Girona after 10 games. It also boosts their morale ahead of their next match against Shakhtar Donetsk in the group stages of the Champions League on Wednesday.