FC Barcelona Atlètic – Match Report vs Sestao River Club (22/10/2023)

Barca Atleti faced off against Sestao River Club (SRC), a small and new club who were the champions of the 4th division last season but find themselves rock bottom in the 3rd division this season. Nonetheless they posed a challenge for Barca Atleti, as SRC are a senior team, playing against a primarily U21 Barcelona side. Things were fairly even before Marc Bernal’s goal broke the deadlock and allowed for the game to flow, eventually ending in a 3-1 result in favour of Barcelona.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Marc Bernal 

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 16
  • Date of birth: 26/05/2007
  • Club: Barca Atletic
  • Career: Barcelona (Y)
  • Position: Defensive Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Left

Bernal played as a right sided number 8, with Casado as the deepest midfielder. There, Bernal struggled and started off slow but slowly grew into the game before being subbed off in the 78th minute. Barca’s play was mostly concentrated on the right side, moving the ball before passing it to Casado to switch to the left. Bernal, playing in a congested space and limited angle, struggled to impact the game. It seems his hips are too tight to open up and pass to a wider angle or receive smoothly on the turn, his receptions on the turn looked slow and cumbersome. This was also exacerbated by the fact that he struggled to orient himself to receive with the right as his far leg, as when playing on the right side back to goal the space is on his right leg. This meant that Bernal couldn’t open up the play and relieve pressure. For a few sporadic moments he featured on the left, the first of those resulted in him creating a 1v1, as he turned and played the killer pass.

Bernal has good positioning, and is excellent in ground duels, he covers a lot of ground and is accurate with his interventions. He’s also proficient in the air with both his head and feet. But he can cause problems for his team when asked to defend zonally from afar, as players can slip through his blindside without his awareness. He changed the gamestate with a great goal, having been positioned well for the layoff from the striker and smashing it into the goal. He has shown an ability to attack the box with box deep runs and positioning around the D for cutbacks and layoffs

Rating — B1

It’s harsh to rate the second youngest player on the pitch, but Bernal needs to improve slightly on the technical aspect. He also needs to better understand his body and how to use it, which will surely develop in tandem with his growth. I would recommend a loan but as with La Masia players Bernal getting his senior debut is a matter of time, he’s at the right club to develop at the moment.

Marc Casado 

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 14/09/2003
  • Club: Barca Atletic
  • Career: Barcelona (Y)
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Casado played the entire match, at 172cm he’s relatively short and it seems SRC players tried to target him, as he was fouled 4 or 5 times. But that didn’t phase Casado, his quick acceleration, change of direction, and deception meant that he could dance past opposition players with the ball. As a passer he moves the ball quick, but isn’t rushed in his actions. He loves to play the lofted backspin switch to the winger, and can even thread a ground through pass out wide. Several times when playing a through pass centrally he ends up playing the pass behind the attacker or into his feet when it should go ahead of him. He’s extremely communicative, as he directs where play should go and how fast the team should play, at a constant rate. He constantly scans the pitch and uses the information to apply quick and intelligent solutions, for example seeing where the press is coming from to put his body and shield the ball, manipulate the press with a touch, or be able to play to the free man. In the match a fight broke out between one of Casado’s teammates and a SRC player, Casado handled the situation well, showing why he wears the armband for Barca Atletic.

Defensively his short legs left him disadvantaged in ground duels, but he’s not afraid to get stuck in and surprisingly good in the air. Casado was moving around a lot defensively, presumably because of the lack of defensive structure. But he was efficient and smart with his movements, although it remains that he was moving too much for a 6, and in the elite level he would have to be more conservative with his energy. 

Rating — A2

As a player who understands rhythm and tempo at 20, Casado could already be a valuable asset for many clubs. But the tight competition in midfield may not see him get many minutes at Barcelona as it stands. The best option for him would probably be a loan to a faster or stronger league. But with steady improvement Casado could become an elite player within 2 years.

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