Ilias Akhomach – the gem of La Masia by Piotr Guziński
Ilias Akhomach born in 2004 is currently one of the most talented and spectacular players in La Masia. In Barcelona, he played in F7 teams for 5 years (seven players in one team), but the club decided not to promote him to Infantil B and he was rejected. Ilias left Barca to join Gimnastic Manresa.
Leaving Barcelona was not easy for the young athlete, but at the Gimnastic Akhomach has shown his potential. Ilias played an excellent season and Barca soon regretted her decision. After one year, the player returned to Barcelona and joined the Infantil A team. Ilias’ talent exploded in the 2018/2019 season when he played for Cadete B. Then many more people started paying attention to him. He showed his great technique, balance and elegance. On April 8, 2019, he made his debut for Cadete A and scored an important goal there.
Profile, position and style of play
It is worth mentioning that he is a left-footed player and likes to start his actions from the right side. Ilias is mainly a right-winger, but he can also play on the left wing, as one of the attacking midfielders or as a false nine. He is an unpredictable player, with fantastic technique, body balance & acceleration. He is great in tight spaces and winning duels with 2 or 3 players is no problem for him. He’s also a very creative player. Ilias can find free space and pass a ball between the lines or play an accurate long ball. He is very elegant with the ball and constantly causes havoc around the penalty area. Ball control, movement and tactical intelligence are also at a very high level. All this makes it very difficult for defenders to face him. A Moroccan only needs a moment to lose his opponent with his dribbling. He’s one of the most entertaining players to watch.
Akhomach also often likes to start his actions from the middle of the pitch, during which he can pass several players and then play the ball into the penalty area, pass the ball towards the wing or decide to shoot. I have to admit that Ilias can hit from outside the penalty area. He is also good in defense, where he works intensively in pressing. The 16-year-old says he’s modeling himself on Leo Messi, Hakim Ziyech and Riyad Mahrez.
Room for improvement
I think he can still work on his final pass and decision making at certain moments. He can still work on his finishing. The fact is, however, that he has made great progress in these aspects in recent months.
Last season Ilias was one of the best players of Cadete A. He is a member of the excellent 2004 generation, which is considered to be one of the best in La Masia. He played 18 matches there and scored 8 goals. He also got his debut in Juvenil B. In the match against Sabadell, he played from the first minutes and showed what he is capable of. He also made his debut for Spain U-16 and scored a goal in a match against Japan. His spectacular season made the biggest clubs interested in him (including interest from Manchester City, PSG, and AS Monaco), but fortunately, Barcelona managed to extend the contract with him.
Next season & predictions for the future
Ilias was directly promoted to Juvenil A and in the 2020/2021 season we will be able to see him in the UEFA Youth League. At the moment the young winger is doing great in the preseason with the Barcelona U-19 team. I bet he will be one of the sensations at UYL. I also think that if his development continues so fast, his debut at Barca B will also come this season. I hope Akhomach will continue to make great progress and shine. This season could be a turning point for him and I can’t wait to see him in UYL. Joy to watch.