Wednesday, 6 May 2009

A touch of Barcelona in India

authors: Priyanka Kumar and Adarsh Vinay
source: ESPN Star

date: 2 May 2009

Indian youngsters aspiring to become the next Lionel Messi have a ray of hope to inch closer to their dream. Three youth coaches from FC Barcelona are in India to conduct a football clinic in an attempt to spread their club's awe-inspiring style of football.

The initiative is a part of the ‘Just for Kicks' project launched by Japanese fastening manufacturers YKK. Launched two years ago in Singapore, the project has come to India this year, in partnership with the Catalan giants as well as with the support of the All India Football Federation.

The three coaches - Guillermo Oriol Gil, Joan Della Morte and Ivan Palanco Santiago - will be in New Delhi for three days from May 1-3, and intend to work with both coaches and kids during their brief stay. On Friday evening, a session was held at the Ambedkar Stadium for aspiring local coaches in India, selected by the AIFF. Over the next two days, the coaches will also conduct four camps training children the Spanish way.

At a press conference in a Delhi hotel, Della Morte, the technical director of Barca's academy in Cairo, explained what exactly the coaches are here for. "We are here because YKK and AIFF have given us this chance. We will be coaching children of the age group 10 to 14 years."

He emphasized that the focus would specifically be on the FCB brand of football - the immaculate passing game of the Barca team, which includes stars like Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, that has fans all over the world swooning in delight. "We'll be training them the way we do in Barcelona. Over there, we have a particular way of playing and understanding the game. We like to keep possession of the ball. We want to put tactical, technical and physical skills, all together in a global methodology, the Barca way."

Football in India may have not yet reached the heights as in Europe or even South-East Asia, but that doesn't deter these coaches from the FC Barcelona Soccer School. Guillermo, a second level youth coach, elaborated on the challenges faced for those hoping to promote the sport in India.

"Football is not your national sport. So it's more challenging. Cricket is the most important sport here. So we need to promote football in such a way that in the future the level of the sport will improve." He added: "It will be difficult but in every country there is potential and you can improve. So we are here to help you use our philosophy from Barcelona. This is to help the children to learn, enjoy and improve their game."

And in the end, that is indeed what it is all about - to ensure the children have an enjoyable and memorable experience learning the game they love. As Guillermo explained, "Football is not only just about tactics and techniques. So we need to teach children how to use all these skills together. We plan to use fun activities and exercises all related to football for the warm up, cool down and the main game as well. That's what they really need to do in training sessions. That's what we are here for."

read the full and original article here
read a report of the training session here

Read more:
Barcelona president visits India
Barcelona coaches instruct Vietnamese children
Barcelona wants youth academy in Brazil


Mat said...

Love 'em even more now!

let's show the world the real football today

Leo10Messi said...

Thank you Barca

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