Elche 0-2 Barcelona Got first Barcelona goal
It’s fair to say that not even Riqui Puig, who measures 1.69 metres in height, was expecting to score his first goal for Barcelona with his head.
The academy graduate did just that against Elche on Sunday, coming off the bench and leaping to nod Frenkie de Jong‘s cross into the back of the net.
Puig‘s goal was crucial, ending any hope of an Elche equaliser and confirming Barcelona‘s fifth straight win away from home in LaLiga Santander.
The strike also comes just over a week after the 21-year-old’s decisive penalty in the shootout against Real Sociedad in the Supercopa de Espana semi-finals.
Now, there are just signs that the midfielder is edging his way into Ronald Koeman‘s plans at the Camp Nou. He’s clearly a popular member of the dressing room.
“It’s surreal to score with my head,” Puig said at the Estadio Martinez Valero.
“I don’t think I have done since I was in the Cadete A [under-16s] team. I don’t score many anyway. And now I’ve done it with my head!
“I’m having quite a difficult season because I’m not used to playing so little. But I’m getting stronger mentally.
“I’m happy with the team’s hard work and how my teammates are helping me.”
After warning him about playing time in the summer, Koeman has played Puig 10 times in all competitions this season.
“He came off the bench well and also jumped very well,” the Barcelona boss said on Puig after his goal against Elche. “He got into the box, which is where we want our midfielders to be.
“When the coach gives you minutes, you have to show that you have a future [at the club]. He was important in this game.”