The boy who could have been the next Puyol

From being on Chelsea's radar, to featuring for Barcelona and now playing as a central defender for Girona FC,  Marc Muniesa Martinez's life is a very interesting story, packed with strange ups and downs.

Marc Muniesa Martinez was hailed as the next big star when he made his La Liga debut for FC Barcelona at 17 years and 57 days – one of the youngest in the club’s history.   -  Stan Rayan

He was so good at the age of 15 that there was talk that six-time Premier League champion Chelsea wanted to sign him. But since Marc Muniesa Martinez lived at Lloret de Mar, not far from Barcelona, he landed at the La Masia, the club’s famed youth academy.

And when he made his La Liga debut for FC Barcelona at 17 years and 57 days – he was one of the youngest in the club’s history – Marc was hailed as the next big star.

“People said that I will be the next (Carles) Puyol…and you think you will be a star. But you have to be realistic,” said the 26-year-old in a chat at the Lulu Marriott here on Friday evening.

A major knee injury in 2012 wrecked havoc in his promising career and though he was with Barcelona for four years until 2013, he featured in only two big games. “It will be good to be known as a Barcelona star. But when your moment comes, you have to take it and if you could not do it, you have to step aside and try to play in other clubs. But I had my big injury,” said Marc.

Now playing as a central defender for Girona FC,  Marc’s life is a very interesting story, packed with strange ups and downs. Spain’s Girona will be in action against Melbourne City FC in the Toyota Yaris La Liga World pre-season football tournament at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday evening and Marc will be one of the stars to watch out for.

Girona finished 10th in its La Liga debut last season and is the favourite to take the title here. Girona is a wonderful story too, for it shocked Spanish giant Real Madrid 2-1 in the La Liga a few months ago. And Marc emerged as one of the heroes from that game after keeping Cristiano Ronaldo on a tight leash.

That victory changed a lot of things in the team, made the Girona boys believe that they belong to the La Liga.

Five years ago, Marc played for Stoke City in the English Premier League and fulfilled a big goal in his life. And now that he has a child, he decided to come back home and joined Girona.
So does he still dream of those big clubs? “I’m still in the La Liga, it’s important for me to stay there because you can compete with Barcelona and Real Madrid. And why not, probably in future, I may go to another big club,” he said.

“And you never know. Sergi Gomez (Sola) is a good example. He was with Celta de Vigo (13th in La Liga), now he is with Sevilla, a big club. He played two to three good games and got a call from Sevilla.
“But I expect Girona to be like Sevilla in two to three years. I want to grow with Girona because I think they are doing really good things and with Manchester City  behind us, things are really good,” he concluded.

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