Pau Cubarsi: The man who stopped Osimhen

Edwin  - CEO March 13, 2024
Updated 2024/03/13 at 11:31 AM
3 Min Read
Pau Cubarsi kept Victor Osimhen quiet during Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Napoli (Reuters)/Metro
Pau Cubarsi kept Victor Osimhen quiet during Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Napoli (Reuters)/Metro

Owen Hargreaves hails ‘ridiculously good’ Barcelona defender

Pau Cubarsi was named Player of the Match in Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Napoli (UEFA via Getty)/Metro


Owen Hargreaves tipped Pau Cubarsi as Barcelona’s future star after his performance in the 3-1 Champions League win over Napoli on Tuesday evening, Chris Davie reports for Metro.


Xavi’s side drew 1-1 with Napoli in the first leg, but goals from Fermin Lopez, Joao Cancelo, and Robert Lewandowski secured Barca’s place in Friday’s Champions League quarter-final draw.


Cubarsi, meanwhile, made his Champions League debut, and the 17-year-old delivered a brilliant performance against Napoli’s star striker, Victor Osimhen.


‘He [Cubarsi] was the show’s star,’ Hargreaves told TNT Sports after Barcelona’s win.


Yamal is different because he’s the winger. This kid [Cubarsi] was picking out passes for fun, and he made it look so easy.

‘He was physical when he needed to be, for a Spanish centre-back to be as physical against somebody like Osimhen is quite rare.


‘I thought his awareness, everything, he was just… 17 and his first start, he played ridiculously good.


‘That is a star, now and a star of the future.


‘I thought with Yamal he was the best player on the pitch.


‘He’s completely different from [Carles] Puyol. [Gerard] Pique was brilliant, but I think his long-range passing is better than either.


‘He’s unique. I think he’s very special. For 17 to play like that in a knockout game is rare.’


Former England manager Glenn Hoddle, working as a pundit alongside Hargreaves for TNT Sports, added: ‘Incredible performance, that.


‘We watched him all night; we were so impressed with him.


‘Look at this for a pass. It’s just top quality if that’s Ronald Koeman at his best, incredible, for 17.


‘As a defender to have that maturity, to cut across people, using his body to lean into them, he was shrewd, for 17 [he was playing] way above his age.’


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