Iñaki Peña's long journey to debut with Barça

"With the moment that the club is going through, we have to bet on the people at home," they insisted from the offices of the sports city on March 14, the day after Iñaki Peña (Alicante, 1999) made his debut at the Camp Nou.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
01 November 2022 Tuesday 00:35
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Iñaki Peña's long journey to debut with Barça

"With the moment that the club is going through, we have to bet on the people at home," they insisted from the offices of the sports city on March 14, the day after Iñaki Peña (Alicante, 1999) made his debut at the Camp Nou. Despite being a goalkeeper trained at La Masia, he did not do so with the Barça shirt. He was with Galatasaray in the Europa League. He didn't concede a single goal. “There he made himself known against Barça. There he showed that he was prepared to play with the first team”, recognizes Domènec Torrent, the coach who led that Galatasaray, in statements to La Vanguardia.

His environment lived that match hooked to the television, aware of what that meant. That tie was the key for Xavi to give his approval to the 23-year-old goalkeeper being Neto's replacement. The road has been long. In fact, it still is because after his return Iñaki Peña still hasn't played any official match with Barcelona. Today he will start at the Doosan Arena before the inconsequential game against Viktoria Pilsen. “The idea is that he and Pablo Torre play. There are players with a lot of burden and discomfort”, confirmed Xavi Hernández. “For a player like him who has been waiting for a long time, a match like this is anything but inconsequential. He will be able to demonstrate the qualities of him ”, insists Torrent.

It was in January 2022 when Iñaki Peña asked to temporarily change Barcelona for Turkey. He had been the third goalkeeper of the first team for two and a half seasons. He trained alongside Ter Stegen, Cillessen or Neto but did not play. Beyond what happens today, Peña is very aware of the decision that Xavi makes for the Copa del Rey and also for the Europa League. There is pressure to win titles. But at Barça they are aware that he needs to play.

Meanwhile, the goalkeeper enjoys the process. With a calm personality and a great follower of Formula 1 beyond football, he tries to learn from Ter Stegen on a daily basis, with whom he maintains an excellent relationship. “He is a very good teammate. He understands his place although it is evident that he would like to play more ”, slips the environment of him. At the moment, he does not think about going out again.

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