From February 12 – 21, 2011 Coach Allan Zuniga and I traveled to Barcelona, Spain to observe the Football Club Barcelona (FCB) youth system and training methods. FCB is considered by many to be the best youth development club in the world.
Eight players from the world’s famous senior team starting eleven, six players from the Spanish World Cup Spain team starting eleven and the top three 2010 Footballer of the Year Candidates all came for the FCB youth system (Messi, Xavi, Iniesta)
This week long trip in fact developed into the educational experience of a lifetime. We gained so much knowledge: but here are my three most striking observations: (FYI: I noted over 100 comments)
- Everybody, I mean everybody, at FCB is humble, down to earth, respectful, sharing, helpful and very approachable. You see it in their senior players and coaches, youth players and coaches, parents, security guards, etc. And it is evident this is an important piece of their culture.
- The high quality of their youth players, especially technically – this improves the quality of everything they do. Note: like their senior team, their young players are not big.
- Everything they do revolves around their system and philosophy of the senior team play. There is one system, one philosophy, one culture. FCB starts to implement it at U-7!