Offensive. Due to his body and moves he has been compared to Sergio Agüero (“I would like to be like “El Kun”” Barco said in a inteview appeared on website Siempre Independiente) Ezequiel’s original position was attacking midfielder, an ideal role for a player who has a great insight into the game and provides many assists. Left-footed, Barco can play also on flanks, preferably on the left side, even if he is better in central midfield moving back until inside forward position, as Independiente coach Gabriel Milito wants.
In that position Ezequiel can show his good change of pace. For him, in every part of the field, it’s important to feel the ball, to be always the centre of his team’s play. All these skills are sign of Barco’s natural leadership. Thanks to his technical abilities Ezequiel is a good free kick taker.
Defensive. Due to his small height and his uncomplete physical growth, “El Turri”, as Barco has been nicknamed in Argentina, suffers the waste of stamina typical of first division matches. Compensating this weak point with technical skills and superior football intelligence, for example what ball protection regards
From Sexta División (U-17 tournament) to First Division. That’s the leap that Ezequiel Barco has taken to play for Independiente, He was born in 1999, in Villa Gobernador Gálvez, a little town near Rosario. His first two clubs were Moroni (at 5) and Central Córdoba de Rosario (at 11) but we can considered him a product of Club Atletico Jorge Griffa youth academy, a club based in Rosario and managed by Diego Griffa, son of former Newell’s Old Boys, Atlético Madrid and Espanyol defender. It was he that recommend Barco to his father, director of Independiente youth academy. After two trials in 2015 Ezequiel earned a place in U16 team and a room at “Villa Dominico” sports centre. In the following season, after a short spell in reserve team coached by Fernando Berón, Barco joined senior squad led by Gabriel Milito signing his first professional contract (it expires in 2021 and his previous club owns 15% of his economic rights). Diego Milito’s brother noticed Ezequiel in a summer friendly against Club Atlético Camioneros and he understood that he couldn’t hold on to Barco. He preferred giving him confidence and some advices. Young talent listened to him and at the beginning of August 2016 Barco made his debut in Argentinian Cup.
Despite Independiente defeat against Defensa y Justicia, Milito’s intuition is good as the first 30 minutes played by Barco replacing “Torito” Rodriguez. Incessant movement, dribbling and decisive moves. According to many fans Ezequiel could be the heir of Ricardo Bochini, World Cup winner with Argentina in 1986. Althrough Barco keeps fans’ expectations low, working silently. An attitude that made him gain Milito’s confidence. “Play and take it easy” Gabi tells him and Ezequiel did what Milito wants. A month after his debut Barco scores also his first goal in his second league match against Godoy Cruz, finalising a team counter-attack. The young talent impressed fans at “Estadio Libertadores de América” leaving the pitch weeping with joy. His dream to play in First Division came true quickly. Now here’s the hard part: Barco has to keep his boots on the ground and to reject offers from European clubs (Barcellona and Chelsea have already noticed Ezequiel).
Shy, modest but sunny, Barco pays for lack of concentration during training sessions, due also to his young age. In order to protect Ezequiel Independiente managed with care interviews and media contribution. Also his family supports Barco. Ezequiel’s father has moved to Avellaneda and at the end of 2016 his younger brother Cristian will move too joing Independiente youth academy. “El Diablo Rojo” signed 16-years-old Cristian after a good trial. Also Barco’s mother supports Independiente, being #ReinaDeCopas testimonial in a recent media campaign where “El Diablo Rojo” president Hugo Moyano celebrated “Mother’s day”.
Central attacking midfielder, inside midfielder and winger
Pro and cons
UP: change of pace, dribbling, assist
DOWN: body, continuity