Such was his excitement ahead of his senior debut. And the 18-year-old admitted that he almost couldn’t sleep before the game.

Ilaix Moriba is thrilled and very grateful to the coach for including in the starting team

Ilaix Moriba was unexpectedly included in Barcelona’s starting XI for the Copa del Rey round of 32 clash with Cornella on Thursday. Such was his excitement ahead of his senior debut. And the 18-year-old admitted that he almost couldn’t sleep before the game. “The feeling has been great since the coach told me I would be in the squad,” he said after the 2-0 win. “Today, I could hardly sleep. I am thrilled and very grateful to the coach and teammates. I thought my debut would never come and it is the best birthday present”. Ilaix noted that the team was well aware that it would be a difficult task against Cornelli. With Real Madrid having been eliminated by Segunda B side Alcoyano and Atletico Madrid stumbling against Barcelona’s rivals in the previous round.

“The club teaches us philosophy, but we knew it would be difficult,” he said. “The coach made it clear to us that it would be a difficult ground. And that we could not come thinking that it would be easy, and we won. The Copa del Rey is not an easy competition. The two great sides of Real Madrid and Atlético are knocked out, and we want to give the fans a title”. On his future with the senior side, Moriba didn’t want to get ahead of himself. “I go day by day,” he said. “They tell me if I will go up with the seniors or down to the B team, and I take it seriously. My team is Barcelona B, and I am very grateful.”