The Economic Times: May 22, 2012
F C Barcelona said on Wednesday it will establish a football training school in Gurgaon, offering aspiring young footballers in India a shot at learning from a club that has made the beautiful game more beautiful.
The FCBEscola (the official football school of the club) will open at the Heritage School in Gurgaon later this year, according to its director Xevi Marce. It is the first of many planned in various parts of India - three are due in Goa, Bengaluru and Kolkata next year - and the aim is to train 10,000 young footballers in three years, he said.
Barcelona has produced some of the finest football and the greatest talent - including the likes of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta - in recent memory thanks to its renowned 'cantera' (Spanish for quarry, a reference to football academies). The club will export to India cantera's style of coaching that underscores technique, controlling the game and playing the ball on the ground, according to Marce.
Barcelona had announced last October that it will establish football schools in India in association with Conscient Football, an offshoot of infrastructure company Conscient Group.
Since that announcement, the club has held a training camp in Delhi in December. Another one is due on May 21 in Bangalore.
Marce said more camps will be held across the country to gain a measure of the skills of children and coaches in India. The impression he got from the first camp is that the children here lack passing skills and coordination, according to him.
Actually, passing and coordination is vintage Barcelona and not even some of the world's best clubs can claim to possess those skills. The football is quick-reflex and pacy, which has helped Barcelona control games and leave opponents exasperated.
Now, Indian children between 6-12 could learn some of those wonted skills. But only those who show promise will be selected, according to Marce.
The fees and duration of courses are still undecided, said Anupama Jain, director of Conscient Football.
For now, the training academies will come up in partnership with schools around India, she said, adding that separate infrastructure will be built to house the academies in future. Antonio Claveria, a technical director at FCBEscola, will be stationed in India through the year.
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