Ignacio “Iñaki” Peña Sotorres is the newly promoted Barcelona B player to the Barcelona first team. Peña was one choice keeper of Barcelona B team last season and three choice keeper for the first team. Peña started in 21 matches for the B team total of 1920 minutes, he is a very complete goalkeeper. He’s technical, agile, and safe goalkeeper.He is good in the aerial game and, as is required at Barçelona, technically excellent with his feet.
There were rumours of him going out of the club through loan were scrapped when the club announced that Ter Stegen would be out till November due to knee surgery, and club promoted Peña to the first team.
IÑAKI PEÑA: RISING THROUGH RANKS AT BARCELONA
Ignacio “Iñaki” Peña Sotorres was born on 2 March 1999 in Alicante, Valencian Community. At just the age of five, he started his career at Alicante CF’s youth setup in 2004. When he turned 13, he decided to join La Masia from Villarreal CF. In his first season between the posts of the Barça Under-14 team, Peña won the league and was one of the key player of the team. He started in the team which won the 2017–18 UEFA Youth League final against Chelsea.
On 16 April 2018, Peña renewed his contract with Barça for three seasons, with an option for a further two years, and he got promoted to the B team of Barcelona.
Peña made his senior debut on 6 October 2018 by starting in a 1–1 home draw against CD Atlético Baleares. Just a few days later on 30 October 2018, he was called up to the main squad for the first leg of the round of 32 ties with Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey as a backup to Jasper Cillessen. While he was performing great for the youth Barcelona team and B team, he was playing regular football for youth Spain team.
Peña represented Spain at under-16, under-17, under-18 and under-19 levels, earning a combined total of 28 caps. He was a runner up in the 2016 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, being a first-choice throughout the tournament.
Standing at 184 m, Peña is not that tall as compared to many goalkeepers, but he is a complete, agile, and safe goalkeeper. Peña is excellent in the aerial game, and as required at Barcelona, Peña is technically superior with his feet. He is an expert in stopping penalty kicks. Stopping penalty kicks has always been his most significant advantage. Peña was the stand out performer in his first-team tournament for the youth team in which he participated in MTU Hallen Cup indoor soccer cup.
Peña became famous after the final of the VII Kingdom of León International Tournament, in the final of the tournament he stopped six penalty kicks out of nine helping his team win the game. Peña has superb reflexes, anticipation, positioning and footwork, as well as some specific gestures, Iñaki Peña does look like younger Ter Stegen. Quality-wise he’s still not there yet, as he lacks the experience Ter Stegen has.
With Ter Stegen turning 28 this April and Neto already 31 Barcelona should give chances to Peña so he can get some experience of the highest level, and from next season onwards he can be an excellent backup for Ter Stegen. Barcelona can again use the method they used at the time when Bravo was the first choice, and Ter Stegen was his backup, Peña could start in Copa Del Rey matches like Ter Stegen did years back.
Since Victor Valdes, Barcelona hasn’t had a keeper good as Peña coming through ranks of La Masia. Peña is only 21 he got a bright future ahead of him and with arrivals of young players such as Pedri, Trincao. Players such as Araujo, Puig, Monchu, Fati, and many exceptional talents with him alongside we can have a team that plays for many years together. Even after Ter Stegen, Barcelona can have great pair of goalkeepers in the form of Peña and Arnau Tenas.