Sergi Samper Was Touted 'The Next Xavi' At Barcelona But His Career Just Hit All-Time Low
He was tipped as one of the brightest prospects to come out of the famed La Masia academy, but six months after being given the iconic number 16 shirt, once worn by his idol Xavi, the injury-plagued career of Sergi Samper has taken another sad twist.
At the age of 16, Samper showcased maturity beyond his years, dominating midfield with his range of passing, energy and confidence on the ball, even drawing comparisons to the likes of first team stars Xavi and Sergio Busquets while playing in the famed academy.
He would go on to make over 100 appearances in Barcelona's B team and was eventually given his first team debut against APOEL in Barcelona's 2014/15 Champions League campaign, impressing enough to make a further 13 appearances for the club.
It was the perfect start to life at the Camp Nou.
But in the coming years, a string of injuries somewhat damaged his career prospects and despite loan spells at La Liga sides Granada and Las Palmas, the midfielder struggled to hold down a regular first team football.
In fact, on Monday afternoon, it was announced that FC Barcelona and Sergi Samper had reached an agreement to terminate his contract, with the player offering a farewell press conference on the same day.
"The club publicly expresses its gratitude to Sergi Samper for his commitment and dedication and wishes him luck and success in the future." they said in a statement on their official website.
More Like ThisMore Like This
:clipboard: Agreement for the cancellation of the contract of @SergiSamper
More details: :point_right: https://t.co/JOSQ5X998q
:large_blue_circle::red_circle: #ForçaBarça pic.twitter.com/CWOVvogvXg
- FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 4, 2019
Barca will never be the same. Good Luck with your new life Sergi Samper. pic.twitter.com/7JT6eg9WbF
- Dale (@JuanStats) March 4, 2019
Of course, it was great for Barca to express their gratitude to the 24-year-old for his commitment and dedication but it makes you think; what could have been if injuries hadn't plagued his time at the Catalan giants?
Samper has since been linked with a move to Japanese club Vissel Kobe in a bid for first team football.
That means he could link up with former teammates Andres Iniesta and David Villa in the very near future.
Gutted it didn't work out for Sergi Samper. A player with so much promise but sadly such bad luck. His contract has been rescinded by the club at his request as he'll be joining up with none other than Andrés Iniesta and David Villa at Vissel Kobe. The very best of luck!
- TalkFCB (@FCBNewsRoom) March 4, 2019
Let's hope he can avoid injuries and kick start his career in Japan.