Fermin Lopez, Xavi

“He can be a key player for a long time,” Xavi praises youngster after clutch brace in Barcelona’s 2-0 win against Almeria in LaLiga

FC Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez was all-praising about midfielder Fermin Lopez after their team’s 2-0 win over Almeria in La Liga on Thursday, May 16. Lopez was on target for a brace that helped Barca secure their 24th win of the season to take them four points clear of third-placed Girona.

Xavi lavishes praise on Fermin Lopez in his post-match interview

Fermin Lopez was the undisputed star for Barca in their 2-0 win against Almeria last night. The 21-year-old started the game and scored one goal on either side of half-time to help his team secure all three points.

After the game, manager Xavi Hernandez reiterated his faith in Lopez, stating that he could be a mainstay in Barca’s squad for years to come. He said,

“I can see that Fermin Lopez is ready and mature enough to compete.

“I think he can be here for several years, he can be a key player for a long time for Barca.”

Xavi, who himself was a mainstay in Barcelona’s midfield in the 2000s and early 2010s, is the best judge of one’s ability. Showering Lopez with praise shows how much the manager believes in him and his future. It also helps that the player backed his manager’s faith with a Player of the Match performance against Almeria.

Lopez played the entire 90 minutes and passed the ball with 95% accuracy, including three key passes and three long balls. He also won five duels and made two tackles and a block in the process. Lopez completed two dribbles past players and attempted four shots, scoring off two of those.

He will now hope to feature in Barcelona’s two remaining La Liga games against Rayo Vallecano and Sevilla.

Fermin Lopez’s season so far

Xavi- Fermin Lopez
Fermin Lopez has had a lovely breakout season for Barcelona. (Getty Images)

Lopez has come through Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and broke into the first team this season. Although he has not played many full matches, he has made 40 appearances for the club so far this season.

In that time, Lopez has bagged an impressive 10 goals for the senior team and has also chipped in with one assist. He produced an iconic moment with his goal against Real Madrid in an unfortunate 3-2 defeat but has shown great character in big games in general.

Aged just 21, he has nearly his entire career ahead of him and will hope to try and emulate Xavi.