Barcelona full-back Alejandro Balde pulls off the most disgusting first touch under serious pressure
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Barcelona defender Alejandro Balde floored Athletic Bilbao forward Nico Williams with a first touch for the ages in Sunday's La Liga clash at the Estadio San Mames.
The Catalan giants restored their nine-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with a 1-0 win over Bilbao.
A first-half strike from in-form Brazilian winger Raphinha handed them a nervy three points against Ernesto Valverde's side, who thought they had equalised late on until VAR intervened.
It was a well-fought game full of big moments, including this outrageous touch from Barca full-back Balde that has since gone viral.
Omds this touch from Balde was disgusting 🤮🤮🤮pic.twitter.com/tbTzWsc5co— 〽️ (@MokkzOrMokka23_) March 13, 2023
As you can see from the footage above, a Bilbao player put his foot through the ball with 65 minutes on the clock, lumping it towards Inaki Williams, who was in a one-on-one battle with Balde.
Many would have simply headed it away – or booted it back up the field – but the teenage defender brought it down by placing his left foot on top of the ball.
Williams even slipped over such was the speed and accuracy of the first touch.
Xavi recently said Balde, who also made his debut for the Spanish national side at the World Cup in Qatar, was "the surprise revelation of the season" and well,
we are starting to understand why.
Here's how fans reacted to Balde's first touch on social media.
One said: "Insane control from Alejandro Balde. Easily one of the best LB’s in world football currently," while another commented: "Balde dealing with the Williams brothers comfortably. He is just 19 years old."
A third wrote: "Balde might be the best LB in the world at the moment."
A fourth added: "Balde's calmness and confidence knowing he's the last man."
After the game on Sunday night, Xavi was full of praise for the young defender.
“At 19 years old, he makes a difference in defence and attack, he is spectacular," the former Barca midfielder said. "If he continues like this, he is the surprise and the revelation of the season, and due to his qualities, he can be what he wants and desires.”
Xavi went on to describe the result against Bilbao as one of the biggest of the season.
He added: “This is a golden victory for us, golden three points. We played well for 70-80 minutes, but in a stadium like this, it’s normal if we suffer at the end. They press a lot.
“I’m proud of how this team is competing. Today, 10 players came running back from a corner in 3 seconds. This is embodied in players like Gavi. I’m excited, because it’s very difficult to achieve this.”