19 years ago. An 18-year-old Argentinian got the chance to wear the No. 19 jersey after leaving the No. 30 jersey in Barcelona. The next story, that does not say – history! The young Argentinian forward named Lionel Messi is the best in Barcelona history, arguably the best in football history.
Almost two decades later, an 18-year-old forward is wearing Barcelona’s number 19 jersey – but not Argentine, he’s Brazilian. As much as there was hype around Messi in the beginning, the hype around this Brazilian has not yet risen. However, in addition to the financial crisis, Barca fans, who have fallen into a cycle of bad times due to instability off the field, have no end of hope. The young Brazilian striker named Bhitar Hotch rode the mercury of hope himself yesterday.
Didn’t do anything incredible, maybe it’s inappropriate to expect anything too incredible from someone of this age. What did hotch do? Scored only one goal, but that goal gave Barcelona a win over Osasuna at home yesterday (1-0). A record was also made in that goal.
In Spain’s top league, no less Brazilians have shown magic in Barca’s jersey, Romario-Ronaldo-Rivaldo-Ronaldinho-Neymar have conquered this league. In the meantime, the record that Hotch has made by scoring a goal is – became the youngest Brazilian goal scorer for Barca in La Liga! He was 18 years 11 months 3 days old yesterday.
Hotch, who joined Barca last January, has played 6 matches in Barca, appearing as a substitute in all 6 matches. He is still in the process of adapting to Barca. With Barca coach Xavi Hernandez’s trusty Lefandofsky competing for the striker position, Hoch might not have expected too much to take over the position.
Yesterday, against Osasuna, Hotch entered the field in 62 minutes, after 68 seconds, the goal! To say that he only scored goals understates his achievements. In those 68 seconds, he came down once, and once again tried to make room for the two central defenders in a running attempt. In the meantime, Barca went down once in the great attack path and passed the ball to Lefandofski with the first touch. From there, Hotch started to run between the two defenders like a tiger on the scent of prey, as the ball turned to Cancelo on the left. Cancelo’s cross went into the box, thought to go to Lewandowski at the second post. The goalkeeper was also preparing in the same way. But Hotch dodged the defenders at the first post with a cross that was a little lower than necessary and headed the ball into the net. The goalkeeper was stunned. The defenders are shocked! Hotch didn’t even get the nickname ‘Tiger’ at this age!
As Brazil’s ‘Next Big Thing’, some people’s names are heard every season, Hotch’s name has also been discussed in that way for a couple of seasons. He made his debut in the jersey of Cruzeiro when he was 16 years old.
There, 6 goals and 1 assist in 16 matches and seeing such enthusiasm to participate in the team’s ‘build up play’, Athletico took Hotch to Paranains. The biggest change in the history of Furachaud! It didn’t take long to understand why a 17-year-old had spent so much money on parascience. As time went on, Hotch rightly recalled the investment. His stats in the Paranaense jersey before finally joining Barca – 81 matches, 28 goals, 11 assists. In the 2022 South American ‘Champions League’ Copa Libertadores runner-up in Paranaense, Hotch’s name is at the beginning of the list of those who contributed the most.
The 2023 U-20 Latin American Championship has been won in Brazil’s jersey. Hotch also became the tournament’s top scorer with 6 goals, alongside fellow midfielder Andre Santos (who joined Chelsea last year from Vasco da Gama and now plays on the wing at Nottingham Forest). How can he be kept away from the Brazil team with such performance in the club and age-based national team! Hotch was called up by then-Brazil coach Ramon Menezes last March, making his debut in a friendly against Morocco.
After that, of course, he did not enter the field for the national team, but it can be said that the wait will not increase for much longer. Hotch scored a goal in the Barça jersey!
The 18-year-old is among the names at the heart of Barca and Brazil’s hopes for the future. Vinicius of Real Madrid, Barca’s own Brazilian in the crowd of Rodrigo! It was his dream to join Barca, his first expression of emotion after his first goal in the club’s jersey yesterday was, ‘Dream come true!’