Play football the Barcelona way

Play football the Barcelona way
Students awaiting the start of the training session at Saint Patrick's School yesterday, at the launch of FC Barcelona's FCBEscola Singapore.

It was not a clip of on-field action. There wasn't even a football in the shot.

It was a close-up of a floppy-haired kid with a goofy smile, a kid who passed through the famed La Masia Academy and went on to win four World Player of the Year awards.

FCBEscola Singapore (FCBE) used that moment in the video featuring Lionel Messi as their core message at their official launch on Sep 28 at the St Patrick's School. Based on the model adopted by FC Barcelona, the aim of the local academy FCBE is to put kids (aged six to 12) here through the same system and methods used in developing Messi.

"FCBE follows the training methods of the club," said Xevi Marce, FCBE director.

"The aim is to get the kids to enjoy playing football, and at the same time teach them the philosophy of Barcelona... that is not just about football but also about respect." Based in Singapore, Carles Martinez is the technical director of FCBE Singapore and will oversee operations here.

There is a possibility that prodigious talent here will be sent to La Masia, and FCBE students will also take part in an annual tournament in Barcelona, where they will be given the real club experience.

Split into three age-specific groups, the kids will be put through two 75-minute sessions per week.

Said Marce: "If you like football, you'll love the methodology of Barcelona.

"Give us three months with the kids, then you can ask their parents what the difference between us and other academies is."

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