Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin's performance in his side's 2-0 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie has caught the attention and the treble winners' star duo of Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique congratulated him after the match. Lionel Messi's double in the second half was the difference between the two sides as the Gunners have a tough task in progressing further in the tournament.
Arsene Wenger started Bellerin in his preferred right-back position in the European fixture, who had the job to mark Neymar — who was playing on the left side of the front three — and also eradicate any threats provided by Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba. The 20-year-old was the star performer in his side's latest defeat.
According to Spanish publication Sport, Iniesta and Pique went and met Bellerin after the match at the Emirates. The World Cup winning duo with Spain wished him luck at Arsenal after highlighting his impressive display on the pitch.
Bellerin was at Barcelona's famous academy La Masia in 2011 and moved to north London, where he spent the first two years at Arsenal's academy. He made his way into the Gunners' first team in 2013 and the same season, he joined Watford on loan, initially for two months, which was then extended until the end of the 2013/14 season.
Since returning to the Emirates, he never was the first choice right-back. Bacary Sagna left Arsenal and joined Manchester City and he was replaced by Mathieu Debuchy. The former Newcastle United defender suffered an injury in the first few months at Arsenal and lack of options in that position forced Wenger to turn his attention on Bellerin.
Bellerin impressed in the full-back position and since then has cemented his place in the starting line-up. In the ongoing campaign, the full-back has started in 30 matches in all competitions. Lack of opportunities at Arsenal saw Debuchy join Bordeaux on loan until the end of the season.