Barcelona B beat Racing Santander to seal Segunda A return
Barcelona B are back in the second tier of Spanish football after a two-year absence following a playoff win over Racing Santander.
Barca's youngsters were held to a goalless draw by Racing at the Mini Estadi on Sunday, but the damage had been done last weekend in Santander when two goals each from Dani Romera and Marc Cardona had sealed a 4-1 win, putting Gerard Lopez's side on the brink of a return to Segunda A.
"We have fought so hard for this," captain and right-back Sergi Palencia told reporters after the promotion was secured. "It seems easy [now] after the result in Santander, but we have had to work hard to achieve this, with the games against Cultural [Leonesa] and Cartagena, too.
"We are really proud of ourselves. This is compensation for everything we have done throughout the year. To help this team back into the second division is incredibly satisfying."
As winners as one of the four regionalised divisions, Barca's first shot at promotion was against Cultural, but they were beaten 4-1 on aggregate, with Cultural sealing promotion to the second division at the first time of asking and the Blaugrana dropping into the regular playoffs.
After beating Cartagena on away goals, they drew Racing for a second shot at promotion.
The Catalan club will hope that getting back into the second tier of Spanish football will allow them to keep hold of some of their young stars.
Highly rated Palencia added that he hopes to continue at the club, regardless of whether he's promoted to Ernesto Valverde's first team or not.
"It's time to rest now, but my agents will meet with the club," he said. "I want to keep growing here; whether it's with the first team or the B team, I will keep giving my all for this club."
Teenage midfielder Carles Alena, who made his first-team debut this season, also said that he wants to stay: "We're going to negotiate [a new contract] and hopefully everything goes well and I will stay here."
Elsewhere, the club have already confirmed they have taken up their option to sign Brazilian defender Marlon Santos, who had been on a season-long loan from Fluminense, while 18-year-old left-back Marc Cucurella is expected to sign a new deal as well.
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.