For sports lovers, the name ‘Barcelona FC’ will surely ring bells in their ears. There is hardly any football lover that is not acquainted with the name.
Barcelona FC stands for Barcelona Football Club. It is a Spanish club, and it currently plays in the Spanish la liga. Barcelona FC is one of the most successful football clubs in the history of football all over the world. They have won the Spanish la Liga title several times, and they have also won he UEFA champions league a lot of times. They have also won the Club World Cup and the International Champions Cup repeatedly; and of all the football clubs in the world of sports, they are rightly considered as one of the most successful.
Barcelona FC (also known as Barca) have one of the world’s largest population of fans all around the world. In Nigeria, Barca fans are very many and can easily be spotted representing their favourite club on match days or supporting them in trivial discussions. Barca fans are always at loggerheads with fans of Real Madrid – which happens to be their most bitter football rival till date. Most times, Madrid fans argue that their club is the best in the world, due to the presence of accomplished stars on their books – the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (before his departure for Juventus), Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, Marcelo and Sergio Ramos: and on the contrary, Barca fans hold the opinion that their club is the best ever, due to the fact that they have won several UEFA champions league and Spanish La Liga titles, and that they also have world stars like Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique among their players…
Such arguments have no end in sight!
Perhaps, one major thing that makes Barcelona FC stand out is the quality of their players. When you hear Barca, what readily comes to mind is Lionel Messi, who is perhaps the world’s best footballer at the moment. Lionel Messi is a phenomenon! Other players that come to mind will include Phillipe Coutinho, Luis Suarez, and even the now departed Neymar Jnr.; and in ancient times, they also had the likes of several world stars like Samuel Eto’o, Ronaldinho Gaucho, Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta and Xavi on their books.
Barca is home to a large percentage of the world’s best footballers, which just underscores why they have been so successful. It is worthy to note that most of their players who are now world stars are products of their world-famous football academy, which is also known as the La Masia Academy.
La Masia academy has produced more than half of the current crop of Barca players, including other players in other clubs in other leagues around the world. Chelsea star, Cesc Fabregas is a product of the academy, as is Lionel Messi, Bojan Krkic, Oriol Romeu, and a host of other top performers. However, it is worthy to note that, these stars are the products of both talent and the right training and platform for the expression of their skills.
That is one thing Nigerian footballers have lacked: exposure and access to cutting-edge training facilities and methods. Nigeria is abundant with talent and natural potential, but for the young footballers, talent isn’t everything. Exposure and relevant platforms are key to becoming global football stars like Barca’s Lionel Messi and co.
One thing about the La Masia academy has been that, up until recently, they only spot raw talent and take them in for grooming, up until they are eligible to wear the club’s colours. Such was the case with Lionel Messi, and many others; and as such, those who do not possess so much talent would be unable to join the academy.
Also, another issue is that, it wasn’t always easy for foreigners to join the academy, unless in exceptional cases. Because of this, many young footballers who dreamt of becoming like the legendary Lionel Messi, or at least attending the famous La Masia academy, had their dreams shattered before it even formed fully.
However, in all of these, there’s some good news, particularly for Nigerians and Africans.
All those restrictions with the Last Masia academy appear to have been totally dissolved!
If your child or Ward is talented and would want to enrol in a world class football academy, en route to possibly becoming a global football star someday, this post should get you excited!
Now, the good news is:
Barcelona FC have opened their doors to football talents of Nigerian origin! What his means is that, talented Nigerian footballers and even those of other African countries now have the chance to enroll at a world-class football academy, the La Masia academy, right here in Nigeria. The management of the academy and the board of the club came together and seeing the need for expanding their fan base in Nigeria and harnessing the football talents here, they decided to set up an arm of their academy here in Nigeria. The academy will operate just like the La Masiw academy in Spain, with the same curriculum, time table, instructional materials and methods. So, it will literally be functioning as a replica of the famous La Masia Academy in Barcelona, Spain!
The implication of this is that, young footballers do not need to go to Spain anymore to join Barcelona’s academy; as a branch has been opened here in Nigeria! They can now join Barcelona’s Football Academy here in Nigeria.
So now, the big question is, how does this Nigerian arm of Barcelona’s Football Academy operate? I’m sure you would like to know more about it.
We shall tackle that shortly.
Barcelona Football Academy in Nigeria:
1. What is it called?
It is called the FC BESCOLA
2. Where is it located?
It is located in Lagos, Nigeria at the Teslim Balogun Stadium Sports Complex
3. What services are available?
The management of FCBESCOLA offers the following trainings and services to all enrollees:
*Teaching and improvement of both basic and football-specific coordination skills;
*They convey FCBarcelona’s vision of technical and tactical elements of football;
*They provide the necessary formal education;
*They work to develop sportsmanship;
*They teach the fundamental values of FC Barcelona’s philosophy.
*They also run normal academic curriculum. This means that, academy students will also be eligible and enrolled for the WASSCE/NECO O’LEVEL examination when due.
4. Are there any age restrictions?
Yes, there are. Admissions are open to candidates between 5 and 18 years only. The management of FCBESCOLA prioritizes young talent because they believe that young talent is prime enough to imbibe their methods and philosophy and to stick with them, while growing through the process and honing their skills.
5. How do you register for the academy?
This is very simple. All you need to do is visit the office of FCBESCOLA at the sports complex of Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria. You will be required to pay an application fee of #13,500 naira, after which you will be required to fill some paperwork and await feedback on the status of your application. The feedback you receive from them usually determines the next step to be taken.
Once the registration process is completed, you will be required to submit some documents to complete your application and secure approval. Once all that is done, you are good to go.
At the end of the day, you will have registered yourself or your ward for one of the world’s best football academies, and who knows if they would become the next global football phenomenon, like the likes of Lionel Messi, Oscar, Neymar and co?!
Make no further delay. If you have spotted talent in your ward, enrol them for the academy. They only admit candidates once in a year, during September. Take time to visit their office to find out what other specific documents may be required of you or your child/ward and do well to arm yourself with them to avoid any hitches or delays in processing your application.
Activities at the academy include:
*Age grade training sessions and skill optimization sessions. The facilitators and coaches split the academy students into teams. They are grouped according to their ages, to ensure fairness. Training occurs two to three times every week, and there’s also a competitive match to be played on weekends. This helps the academy students keep their skills in practice and on the path to mastery, while they also maintain match fitness.
*Asides bi-weekly or tri-weekly training sessions and matches on weekends, the academy also often plays in competitions within and outside the state. However, it is not all members of the academy that play in the competitive matches. During the training sessions, the coaches and instructors look out for (and eventually select) the most talented players and those who appear to have submerged themselves in the philosophy of the club. It is from these selected players that the team to represent the academy at any event is picked.
Thus, here you have it. This information may have just set your dream on the right track. FCBESCOLA, Barcelona FC’s football academy is up and running in Lagos, Nigeria. Do well to register, if you are eligible.