> A Residence Since 1979
> An Academic and Sports Education
> From the Old Masia to the New One
dimarts, 9 de juny de 2009
This year, FC Barcelona have won the Copa (Cup), the Spanish League (La Liga) and the Champions League, a feat they have never accomplished before. Of course, this landmark achievement involved internationally renowned foreign players, but also players from the club's youth teams, trained in the lower ranks of the club.
It is fair to say that this year, these home-grown players had a leading role in this triumphant Barça side. The clearest example of this came in the Champions League final, where there were seven of them in the starting line-up: Víctor Valdés, Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué, Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Sergi Busquets and Leo Messi. To them we can add three other players who started the match on the bench: Pedro Rodríguez, Bojan Krkic and Marc Muniesa.
From an early age, all of these players have been imbued with a style of play based on one-touch football and ball possession. This offensive style has been the hallmark of Barcelona for at least the past 20 years.
And what's more, some of these players have lived at La Masia, which is the key symbol of Barça's youth team programme.
A Residence Since 1979
+ Since 1979, some 500 youngsters have lived at La Masia.
Located adjacent to the Camp Nou (FC Barcelona's stadium), La Masia was built as a country house in the early 18th century. Today, it is home to the young players who come to Barcelona with the dream of building a career at the club. Some come from Catalonia itself, although there are others who come from far-off countries. Since 1979, when the house was converted into a players' residence, some 500 youngsters have lived there. All of them have been motivated by the dream of playing at some stage in the near or distant future for a Barça first team, be it football (the majority), basketball, handball or roller hockey.
An Academic and Sports Education
La Masia is for youngsters aged 11-12 to 17-18. Currently over 60 youths receive their education there, which covers sport and academic studies. A team of educators tutors the house's residents, making sure they do their school homework, helping them out with queries and, most importantly, instilling them with a set of values that are essential both in sport and in life itself: effort, solidarity, responsibility, a sense of duty, dignity in victory as well as in defeat, etc.
From the Old Masia to the New One
+ The 'New Masia' is set to be ready next year.
Now, 30 years on, La Masia is too small for all the young players who come to Barcelona with a desire to win. In fact, for the last couple of years Barcelona's youth teams have trained at the new Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper facility (named after the club's founder), located in Sant Joan Despí (Baix Llobregat), just under five kilometres from the Camp Nou. Construction work has already begun on the new residence here that will replace La Masia. The 'New Masia' is set to be ready next year.
> Marc Muniesa, un campió d'Europa a la Masia.
> La Masia del segle XXI, a Sant Joan Despí.
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