‘I’ve never seen so many brutal and dirty tackles’: Adama Traore’s former Barcelona youth coach opens up on the Wolves star’s tough schooling at their famous La Masia academy before he flourished into one of the Premier League’s most fearsome wingers
- Andres Carrasco oversaw Traore’s development from under-12 to under-14 level
- The Spain international was one of the smallest players for his age at the club
- Traore has improved greatly over the last few years and is a key man for Wolves
Andres Carrasco, who coached the under-12s to the under-14s at La Masia, remembers the fear Wolves star Traore created among opposition defenders as his trademark pace proved nearly impossible to stop.
Indeed, the only way to prevent the Spain international bearing down on goal was to foul him – with Carrasco revealing that the challenges meted out to Traore were the ugliest he had ever seen.
Adama Traore would often get roughed up when playing for Barcelona’s youth teams
‘There were a lot of 11-year-old boys at Barcelona who gave the impression they were three or four years older. Adama wasn’t like that. He was very small — one of the smallest in the team — but really caught our attention,’ Carrasco told The Sun.
‘When we defended a corner, we’d put him on the edge of box to take advantage of the rebounds. With his speed we’d go straight up to the other end — he scored a lot like that.
‘When Adama had the ball in a one against one, the defenders didn’t even smell him. He created total panic among them.
‘When he was a little boy I’ve never seen so many brutal and dirty tackles against a player in grassroots football.
‘The incredible thing is Adama kept getting kicked and we’d have our hands over our faces that he’d be badly injured — but he always got up as if nothing had happened.’
Adama Traore has enjoyed the best two years of his career at Wolves and is feared by defences
It was an eventual move to England that saw Traore beef up significantly.
After spending 11 years at Barcelona, Traore left at the age of 19 to join Aston Villa, but failed to impress in a tough season that saw the West Midlands outfit relegated from the Premier League.
A move to Middlesbrough in 2016 allowed him to show his talent more regularly and after two years on Teesside, he was snapped up by Wolves, where he has displayed the most consistent form of his career so far and has become one of the top-flight’s most dangerous wingers.
Andres Carrasco, who went on to coach at Shakhtar, recalled Traore’s tough schooling