Young footballers in the city who’ve dreamt of playing football the ‘Barcelona way’ will have a chance to at least make a humble start in that direction as the prestigious Catalan club is all set to launch the FCBEscola Football Schools in Mumbai.
The flagship school of FC Barcelona, aimed at providing a comprehensive training environment to boys and girls in the 5 to 18 age bracket, will begin operations on September 12 at two centres in Mumbai – Don Bosco High School (Matunga) and St Dominic Savio High School (Andheri). With each centre equipped to handle a maximum estimated capacity of 500 children, selection trials have already begun with more to come.
FCBEscola are more than familiar with Mumbai’s passion for the ‘beautiful game’ at the youth level. Their first visit to the city took place in the summer of 2013 when they conducted a five-day camp in which 200 youngsters took part.
“India’s passion for football has always been awe-inspiring and FCBEscola, true to its mission of nurturing talent, has found immense potential amongst the young footballers during its camps and in the football schools,” said Antoni Claveria Mayol, FCBEscola Manager, Asia and Oceania. “The enthusiasm, sporting spirit and love of football among the youngsters in Mumbai has encouraged us to come here,” he added.
The Mumbai schools will run under the supervision of FCBEscola, Project Director, Albert Moratalla, the son of ex-FCBarcelona player Josep Moratalla who was involved in the initial stages of FCBEscola’s India project which, in partnership with Conscient Football, took off in Delhi in 2011.
Aside from working with the students, Albert’s brief also includes selecting, educating and mentoring local coaches in inculcating the FC Barcelona methodology and values.