Look, I’m not going to tell you that this Spanish paper’s report that Barcelona, the (in my humble and in no way biased opinion) best club in world soccer, are “closely following” America’s Wonderteen Christian Pulisic, the (again, humble, unbiased opinion) greatest, can’t-miss soccer prospect in the history of the beautiful game, means anything real.
No, I’m in no way saying that this linking of Pulisic to Barça—which amounts to absolutely nothing more than idle speculation, the kind that appears countless times in the papers that cover the Europe’s biggest teams and links them to all number of great and/or presumably soon-to-be great players, probably 0.01 percent of which ever come to fruition—should be seen as the first step toward what will eventually grow into a historic union of Pulisic donning the Blaugrana shirt in 2018 or so, starting his career in Spain as a rotation option but quickly proving himself indispensible, eventually becoming the heir to Lionel Messi’s place on the pitch and even his hallowed No. 10 squad number, which the Argentine will personally hand over to his favorite young teammate in a tearful though joyous press conference when the then 35-year-old decides to conclude his European adventure and wind down his career back home in Argentina. I’m definitely not saying any of that. That would be crazy.
What I am saying, though, is that it is truly shocking and exhilarating that all of this is even an option, that a teenager from our very own Hershey, Pennsylvania, in only his second season of first-team European soccer, is being tracked by Barcelona. Barcelona! Seriously looking at an American! Unbelievable!
Here’s what Mundo Deportivo actually has to say about their understanding of Barça’s interest, as run through Google Translate:
Barça closely follows Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic, an American talent of Croatian origin who has already proven his quality to Dortmund despite only being 18 years old. Born in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the son of a footballer, he arrived in Germany at 16 thanks to reports from Michael Zorc, one of the great experts in soccer in the USA. He debuted with the senior US team against Guatemala replacing Jozy Altidore as the youngest player to play in a World Cup qualifying international match. He scored his first goal against Bolivia and became the youngest player to achieve a goal with the national team of the Stars and Stripes.
An undisputed starter, he participated in Borussia’s victory this week against Sporting Lisbon (1-2). Zinedine Zidane was impressed with this talent after the great play from which they scored against Real Madrid on Dortmund’s home field; the play at 87 minutes started from the right with a pinpoint cross to Aubameyang, who missed with an overhead kick only for Schürrle score the equalizer against Real (2-2).
Would you look at that: the same pages in which Barcelona have been linked over the years to future studs like Ronaldinho and Alexis Sánchez and Neymar (and hundreds more players who either never came in or never panned out) are now spent extolling the virtues of the Wonderteen.
Sure, reading the rest of the article—which centers on the club president’s refusal to let the team rest on its laurels by constantly search out and bring in the best young talent in the world so as to guarantee Barça’s sporting success into the next decade—makes it clear that this Pulisic tidbit is more about the paper pushing the president’s agenda, trying to paint him as this determined leader who will not allow the trophies of the present to avert his attention from his mission of keeping Barcelona great, than any real or imminent interest in adding Pulisic.
But still. Barcelona want their fans to be excited about the fact that the club is watching little ol’ Christian Pulisic. What a time.