Barcelona received transfer ban after signing 10 players in 2014 - what happened to them?


Barcelona’s financial woes were exposed last summer in one of the most embarrassing periods in the club’s history.

The club’s debt reached more than £1 billion as they paid for the disastrous mismanagement of former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

It led to sweeping changes at the Camp Nou, the biggest of which was Lionel Messi’s departure.

A new board came in and their investigation into the previous regime’s conduct was made more difficult by the fact that the old members deleted emails every 90 days.

Throw in accusations that money was paid to journalists and it’s all a bit shady, isn’t it?


Barcelona’s transfer ban

Yet Barcelona are no strangers to controversy.

In 2014, the Catalan giants were hit with a transfer ban after they were ruled by FIFA to have breached transfer and registration rules regarding signing international players under the age of 18.

This is the ban that Barcelona skirted around to sign Luis Suarez, appealing it so that the punishment was enforced in 2015. But it was a 14-month ban that was handed down after they wrongfully registered 10 minors between 2009 and 2013.

What happened to the players?

The players were unable to train or play for the Blaugrana and had to join other clubs until they were 18. None of them ending up playing for Barca’s first team.

So what happened to them all? Let’s find out.

Lee Seung-woo

There was a lot of excitement in Barcelona’s academy when twinkle-toed winger Lee scored 39 goals in 29 games for their Infantil A squad, earning comparisons to a certain Lionel Messi.

The South Korean signed for Hellas Verona for €1.5m in 2017 but didn’t set Italy alight.

Now 24, he’s currently playing for Suwon FC in his home country.

Paik Seung-ho

Paik was at Barcelona for seven years before his departure in 2017.

He stayed in Spain, joining Girona, and made three La Liga appearances for them.

A switch to German outfit Darmstadt 98 followed and now, he’s playing in South Korea for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Andre Onana

Cameroonian goalkeeper Onana signed for Barcelona in 2010 but left for Ajax in 2015.

The biggest success story of the lot, Onana has established himself as one of the best ‘keepers in the world.

However, he has only just returned from a doping ban after being found with banned substance furosemide in his urine.


Maxi Rolon

Rolon is still only 27 years old but he’s turning into a bit of a journeyman.

He’s played in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Iraq since leaving Barcelona.

According to Transfermarkt, he’s currently a free agent.

Ian Poveda

Poveda headed to England after being forced to leave Spain, signing for Brentford’s academy.

In 2016, Manchester City signed the winger to their academy and he went on to play in their EFL Cup semi-final win against Burton Albion in 2019.

The Englishman, who turns 22 on February 9, signed for Leeds United in 2020. A loan spell at Blackburn Rovers was marred by a serious ankle injury suffered last November.


Patrice Sousia

Sousia, a striker from Cameroon, joined CF Damm on loan in 2017, a club based in Barcelona dedicated to youth football.

But he was released by the Blaugrana upon his return in 2018.

Sousia, currently without a club, last played for CD Calahorra.

Bobby Adekanye

Adekanye signed for Liverpool in 2015.

A year later, the forward, who represented the Netherlands at youth level, signed for Lazio, where loan spells at Cadiz, ADO Den Haag and Crotone – his current team – followed.


Theo Chendri

Chendri, a winger, returned to his homeland with French side Nantes in 2016.

He was there for two-and-a-half years before signing for Fremad Amager in Denmark.

The winger is now back in Spain with SD Formentera.

Jang Gyol-hee

Things didn’t work out for Jang after he joined Greek side Asteras Tripoli in 2017.

He was there for less than a year before signing for Pohang Steelers in South Korea.

A move to Pyeongtaek Citizen followed but in January 2022, at the age of 23, Jang retired to begin coaching.

Takefusa Kubo

A player that Barcelona might be feeling some regret over.

Kubo left Barca in 2015 but in the years since he’s developed into a fine young talent – and one who could soon cause them plenty of trouble.

Real Madrid signed the Japan international from FC Tokyo in 2019. Loan spells in Spain have followed to prepare Kubo, 20, should his opportunity at Los Blancos eventually arrive.

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