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Patrick Kluivert tasked with finding new Lionel Messi as he is appointed director of Barcelona’s La Masia academy


Former Barcelona man has been made the director of the club’s famous La Masia academy.

Kluivert, who played for the Spanish giants between 1998 and 2004, has agreed a two-year deal to take over from general manager Pep Segura.

Kluivert scored 145 goals in 308 appearances for Barcelona

The Dutchman embarks on his new role, having been sacked as Clarence Seedorf’s assistant at the Cameroon national team earlier this month.

Kluivert worked as Paris Saint-Germain’s director of football before that.

There is a lot of pressure on the 43-year-old’s shoulders as La Masia is renowned for developing players who achieve great things including Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

However, Barca have become less dependent on promoting homegrown talent in recent years.

Can Kluivert uncover the next Messi at La Masia?

In April last season, for the first time in 16 years Barca fielded a side without a single academy product in the line up.

It’s even led to some rising stars turning their back on La Masia for other European sides.

Xavi Simons, 16, left boyhood club Barcelona to sign for French giants PSG earlier this week.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old defender Mateu Morey moved to Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer after failing to extend his contract with the Blaugrana.

Also joining Morey was Sergio Gomez, 18, who asked to leave Barca due to a lack of playing time.

Manchester City brought in 18-year-old duo Eric Garcia and Adrian Bernabe too.

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