The foundations of Barça football

The foundations of Barça football

The ex-football player, Àlex Delmàs, analyses the importance of teaching, transmitting and maintaining the seal of Barça football

The importance of teaching, transmitting and maintaining the imprint of Barça football. With the aim of ensuring the legacy of the style of play, and the Area of Methodology directed by Paco Seirul·lo has been enhanced. Preserving Barça will always be the best signing of all.

Methodology is not just one of the words that's fashionable in football today, but is a basic concept for training. Even more so in a football club such as Barça. The director of this area is Paco Seirul·lo, a master with many unconditional disciples. His experience and background are beyond doubt, and with Isaac Guerrero as an assistant, they are part of a team of seven people in charge of conveying the Barça idea. 

Learning 'Total Soft'

One of the key points in the current Barça method is the way in which the most coordinating element of Barça's game works: the pass. The domain of this aspect is what allows one to achieve and maintain the number one goal of the game, the ball. Mastering any pass ensures advantages over the opponent. The pass should not only be well directed, but it must be firm at the same time, in order that it arrives at its destination; the feet of a team-mate. It is also important to focus on the non-working leg, since this fact gives the player the chance to go anywhere. Regarding the control of a game (an aspect derived from the past), there's good evidence of this in that FC Barcelona were the best and most successful team in this aspect during the last league season (24,673 passes in 38 games). Leo Messi, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets - three players trained at La Masia - finished the league championship as the first, third and fifth players with the highest number of passes (Opta data). Barça's methodology is not yet teaching these concepts with specific exercises, but the goal is, in some way, to introduce them in a soft way. "The concept is not taught, the concept is played...", they repeat.

Rondos and conservation

If the passing and control respond to the link between two, it is through the rondos and the conservation where you learn the relationship to time-space with your team-mates. "A rondo contains everything you need in football," said Johan Cruyff. And that's right. Rondos are possessions in small spaces and with players holding their position. An exercise that requires individual technique, precision, pressure and intensity. On the other hand, the  ball conservation exercises are small games in which the objective is not to score, but to ensure the channels with team-mates that are close by are always open. Since it was introduced by Cruyff, these exercises form a main part of training for the coaches of the Barça teams. It's no coincidence that FC Barcelona have led the percentage of possession rankings in the league since 2010 and that, in the same time frame for the Champions League, Barça have led the ranking in four of the nine editions.

Positional game

Another indispensable pillar is positional play, essentially based on the 4-3-3 system which, except for exceptions, all the teams play. A good interpretation of the positioning is even more transcendental than passing, dribbling or shooting, since it not only serves to occupy the spaces in a rational way, but in the Barça context it is used as a weapon in attack. Another norm is that all players on the pitch must know the placement, mechanisms and obligations of the other positions, as this will be an extra outlet for the team's game. For this, all the players in the youth stages at the club must go through the centre of the conservations (pivot) to identify all the passing trajectories that are available. That is why players such as Riqui Puig, Carles Pérez and Ansu Fati can play with the first team knowing in detail their tasks from the first day. Or the case of Sergi Roberto, who has played in six of the ten possible outfield positions since he became a first team player.

Situational games

A concept introduced in his day by Pep Guardiola and one that is at the centre of a training session. Recreating match situations within the strict dimensions of the field. Eight attackers looking to score against six defenders, or six against four are the most common. In these simulations, the amplitude and depth as they are produced in a game already comes into play. Or technical-tactical concepts such as profiling or laterality. Individual aspects that favour the association.

The socioaffective relationships

The approach tends to enhance relationships between peers. Something that, in football, is as important as in life. Knowing who plays next to you is a plus. To know if the ball receiver prefers the ball to feet or into space, what his dominant side is, what technical resources he uses, what is his body position before a pass ..., all those heterogeneous factors are equally vital for everything to flow. The best example is the 0-1 at the 2011 Club World Cup final. Messi continued to disassociate himself because he knew that Xavi would have the ability to control and filter an impossible ball.

Força Barça
Força Barça

Related to this article

Close article

Related to this article