Some of the best players in football have played in the Mediterranean International Cup.
Lionel Messi, Marcelo, Cesc Fabregas, Neymar, Juan Mata, Lucas Leiva, Jordi Alba, Daley Blind, Oscar, Rafael, Anderson, Coutinho and Gerard Pique are just some of the top footballers who have played in the Easter tournament.
Players who are now in Spain, such as Sergio Busquets, Giovani dos Santos, Sergi Roberto and Marc Bartra — who scored for Barcelona on Wednesday — proliferate.
The future stars are often watched by current or former heroes. Former players Guti, Fran and Jamie Carragher were in attendance last week.
Guti works at his old club Real Madrid, former Deportivo La Coruna player Fran is an agent specialising in emerging players and Liverpool legend Carragher, now a successful TV analyst in Britain, watched his son.
Past visitors include Ronaldinho, Pep Guardiola.
Pedro, Carles Puyol, Felipe Scolari, Andres Iniesta, Ronaldo and Dani Alves. Barca stars feature heavily, given the location just 100 kilometres north of the Catalan capital.
In 2005, the player of the tournament was Manchester United’s Febian Brandy.
“I scored against Barca, PSG and Valencia,” Brandy says. “When I came back to England, we had a call from Spain.
The man said to my mum: “Are you the mother of Brandy? It was someone from Barcelona. They wanted to know if I’d sign for them.
“My mum put my dad on the phone.
“My dad told me that it was up to me what I did. Even though I was young, I really fancied playing for Barcelona.”
United were not willing to sell him.
Brandy is now at Rochdale in England’s third tier.
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