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Soccer-Winger Traore latest product of Barcelona academy

Reuters

MADRID, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Adama Traore became the latest player to roll off the Barcelona academy production line when he made his first-team debut at the age of 17 years and 10 months in Saturday's 4-0 La Liga win at home to Granada.

A pacy and powerful winger of Mali origin who was born near Barcelona, Traore came on for Brazil forward Neymar in the 81st minute at the Nou Camp, becoming the eighth-youngest player to represent the Spanish champions.

Fellow academy graduates who have debuted at a younger age include Argentine World Player of the Year Lionel Messi at 17 years three months and 22 days and Spanish forward Bojan Krkic at 17 years and 18 days.

"It's not normal that a lad of 17 years has the chance to train and play with the first team," coach Gerardo Martino told a news conference.

"He has been working with us the past week and we saw an opportunity for him to be included on the bench and play a few minutes," he added.

Traore started the season playing for Barca's youth team before winning a place in the B side, which plays in the Spanish second division.

He missed one chance to score against Granada three minutes from time and told reporters he was "filled with great pride" at playing for the first team in the Nou Camp after so many years of work in the academy.

"I am here thanks to the coaches I have had and to the team mates," he said.

"It's easy playing with these players and they give you a lot of confidence."

Vicenc Martinez is the youngest Barca first-team debutant at 16 years 10 months and five days back in October 1941. (Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Ed Osmond)

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