With a number of first team regulars missing due to injury and international commitments, plus the need to rest others to cope with the accumulation of matches, Guardiola has turned to the reserves to take the strain. Cristian Tello enjoyed a dream debut against Real Sociedad, playing the full 90 minutes and scoring a goal. He told us: "I was a bit nervous in the changing room when we were told the line-up but then I felt fine”.
"It was amazing to figure in the starting line-up in this team and play alongside such great players. My teammates are incredible, they're a tight-knit team." He revealed that he had no trouble in settling into the group: "It's not very difficult because in the reserves we try and play in the same style as the first team".
For their part, the older players have given Tello a warm welcome while Guardiola has been keeping an eye on his development: "He told me to go wide and try to go past players. I'm happy to have the boss's confidence". Goalkeeper Valdés posted a photo of Tello on Facebook and Twitter with the text: "A fantastic Tello scores his first goal for the first team! We have the best youth system in the world".
Isaac Cuenca, who is now officially part of the first team squad, is a good example for Tello to follow: "He's like a mirror because we have player together since we were kids and now he's arrived and got himself settled in. We all aspire to that".
A couple of seasons ago, Cristian Tello spent some time with Espanyol. They eventually offered him a first team contract, but Tello turned them down: "Espanyol offered me a deal with the first team but I already had an ambition and that was to make it here. It's hard to get over leaving Barça so when they offered to take me back I didn't think twice and worked hard to take my chances". (via FCBarcelona.cat)