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Englishman Marcus McGuane makes debut for Barcelona

Marcus McGuane signed for Barcelona in January and has made four appearances for their second team.

Marcus McGuane became the first English player since Gary Lineker to play for Barcelona's first team on Wednesday after coming on as a second-half substitute in the Catalan Super Cup win against Espanyol.

Ousmane Dembele, Yerry Mina and Jasper Cillessen were among eight first-team players to feature in the match, with the latter emerging as the hero as Barca won 4-2 on penalties.

The Dutch goalkeeper made a string of impressive saves during the 90 minutes as the game ended goalless before saving from Jose Manuel Jurado in the shootout.

"It was a massive experience for me and my family," McGuane told the club's official website after replacing Aleix Vidal.

"Words can't really describe how it felt walking out there. But it felt really good. When the coach told me I'm coming on I thought just be calm and play my game and show what I can do."

A January signing from Arsenal, McGuane was one of 12 Barca B players called up for the fixture by coach Ernesto Valverde.

The 19-year-old arrived for an undisclosed fee and has made four appearances for Barca's second team, who are in the second tier.

The England youth international joined Arsenal at the age of six, progressing through the academy at London Colney, and sources at Barca have said that "big-club experience" has helped him quickly acclimatise to life in his new surroundings.

Already installed in a flat with his girlfriend in the city, McGuane trained with the first team for the first time two weeks ago and could get his first real chance to impress Valverde on Wednesday.

"McGuane's adapted well. He's doing well," Barca B coach Gerard Lopez told ESPN FC. "He's a complete player. Perhaps he just lacks that calmness on the ball, that pause in terms or our positional play, but he has everything else we need in the middle of the pitch.

"He's a hard worker, good in the air, arrives in the box from deep. He's already added a lot to the team. I can use him in a lot of positions and at his age, he still has a lot of room for improvement.

"In a short time he has already earned my confidence, and I hope he can become an important player for us."

No English player has represented Barca since Lineker left the club in 1989, although Bobby Robson coached them in the mid-1990s and striker Toni Duggan currently plays for the women's side.

"A lot of people told me when I signed that Gary Lineker was the last English person to play for Barcelona," McGuane said. "So to know that I'm next, that's some achievement.

"I need to carry on pushing on with the B team and get as many games as possible. And if get any opportunities to go over to the first team, I've just got to show the boss what I can do."

Canadian youth international Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla was also included in the 20-man squad, but he remained an unused substitute.

Ballou has made three appearances off the bench for the B team since joining from MLS side Montreal Impact in January.

The 18-year-old also featured in the UEFA Youth League win against Paris Saint-Germain last month and remains in regular contact with former Impact striker Didier Drogba, who has helped him through his first few months in Spain.

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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