transfers | 2017-01-25
Two transfer ban casualties decide to return to La Masia
Ben Lederman and Patrice were affected by the FIFA ban in 2014
Patrice Soussia and Ben Lederman, two of the youngsters who were banned by FIFA to play and train in Barça’s academy, have returned to the club’s discipline and have signed their contract with the Blaugranas. Both players will join the Juvenil B (U18) squad under the guidance of Quique Álvarez, given that they are eligible to play according to FIFA’s Regulations on the Status and Transfers of Players.
Soussia is a speedy Cameroonian striker with solid finishing skills and he is one of the African players who arrived to La Masía by means of the Eto’o Foundation. After the FIFA ban, he began to train with a third division club in Spain and later by his own, preparing to overcome this tough period without official competitions. Soussia has just turned 18 this January, thus he has the legal age to join the culés without any lawful restrictions whatsoever.
Lederman is an 16-year-old American footballer who obtained a European Union passport -a Polish one- last year and was training with Barcelona during the last months of 2016, waiting for the registration period to open this January. Lederman first arrived to La Masia as an 11-year-old and later on his entire family moved to Spain to support him in the hunt for his footballing dream. After the FIFA ban, Ben went back to USA in 2015 and was playing for the IMG Academy until last June.
It’s safe to say the odyssey is finally over for this youngsters and now they’re back at chasing their dreams with the Catalan club, but one can only wonder how influential this setback could be for the development of their careers and the ones of other affected players such as Fode Fofana, Matías Lacava or the South Koreans Lee Seung Woo and Seung-Ho Paik.