Home Madrid education Ferran Torres returns to face former club Valencia as Barcelona aim for top 4

Ferran Torres returns to face former club Valencia as Barcelona aim for top 4

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Barcelona travel to Valencia in a Spanish league game wedged between their Europa League draw with Napoli. Xavi Hernández’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by the Italian side in their first leg of the qualifiers this week, when Barcelona wasted several scoring chances at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona need a win at the Mestalla stadium to restore their fourth place in the league after Atlético Madrid and Villarreal took the lead on Saturday. Barcelona defenders Gerard Pique and Dani Alves are both suspended for the game.

On Sunday, Ferran Torres and Ilaix Moriba will face their respective former teams. As they reunite with their former clubs, take a look at five people who have represented both Barcelona and Valencia.

David Villa

Few players manage to become legends at two different clubs, but that’s exactly what David Villa did at Valencia and Barcelona. The Asturian striker landed at Mestalla in 2005 aged 23 and netted 129 goals for the club over the next five seasons, becoming the club’s fifth-highest goalscorer in history.

He was long linked with a move away from Mestalla and eventually moved to Barcelona in 2010, the summer in which he played a starring role as Spain won the World Cup in South Africa. If success came to him fast and quickly at Valencia, it came even faster at Camp Nou where he won the LaLiga Santander title and the Champions League in his debut season.

Jordi Alba

Jordi Alba may have graduated from Valencia’s academy, but he actually started his footballing education at Barcelona. La Masia academy. After being released by the side in the Catalan capital, he moved to Cornellà and then Valencia, where he broke into the first team as one of the most promising wide players in world football.

After three very impressive seasons in the Valencia first team, during which he mastered the transition from left-winger to left-back, he was bought by Barcelona and has been flying down his left flank with great success ever since.

Paco Alcacer

Paco Alcácer played at Valencia before moving to Barcelona in 2016 and spending two seasons in Catalonia. Born in the suburbs of Valencia, Alcácer joined his boyhood club’s academy as a lad and rose through the ranks before making his first-team debut aged 17. He went on to score 43 times in 124 appearances, earning the club captaincy. , before joining Barcelona.

At Camp Nou, he managed a very useful minutes-to-goal ratio of one strike every 153 minutes and helped his team win back-to-back Copa del Rey titles and a LaLiga Santander championship.

Gaïzka Mendieta

Retired Spain international Gaizka Mendieta made a name for himself at Valencia, representing the east coast club from 1992-2001, including winning the 1999 Copa del Rey and scoring one of the tournament’s best goals in the final against Atlético de Madrid.

From there, the Basque-born player became the most expensive Spanish player of all time when he joined Italian side Lazio before returning to La Liga with Barcelona on loan.

Andre Gomes

Andre Gomes made his way to the Premier League via Valencia and Barcelona. The Portuguese midfielder moved from Benfica to Valencia in the summer of 2014 and enjoyed two impressive seasons with Los Che.

After winning Euro 2016 with Portugal, he signed for Barcelona later in July and spent two years at Camp Nou, winning four trophies before heading to the Premier League.

Ronald Koeman (as coach)

The former Barcelona manager is a club institution, having starred in Johan Cruyff Dream Team in the early 1990s and scored the winning goal in the 1992 European Cup final. After retiring at the turn of the century, he was long touted as a future Barcelona manager, but it was with Valencia that he made his first foray into La Liga management.

Koman took over at Mestalla in 2007 with the club in institutional turmoil, but still led the team to the 2008 Copa del Rey title in his only season at the club. Twelve years later, the Dutchman finally took charge of Barcelona, ​​once again leading the club to a Copa del Rey title in his first season in the role.