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The city of Hiroshima will have a Barça Academy from next May. The Japanese city will thus join Fukuoka, Katsushika, Nara and Yokohama as the home of an FC Barcelona soccer school, making Japan the country with the second most such centres after the United States, which has eleven.
The announcement was made official on Monday at the Zero Balance Soccer Field, which will be venue from this spring for 200 boys and girls aged 5 to 12 who will enjoy their favourite sport in the school’s first season.
There are already some 1,350 children learning the FC Barcelona methodology and values each season in the country. There are also another 1,500 youngsters that enjoy weeks at the Barça Academy Camps which are held every year during different holiday periods in Japan.
The Barça Academy name has been in Japan since 2009, with the creation of the Barça Academy Fukuoka. Since then and until today, 9,761 athletes have benefited from the annual programmes at the four Barça Academies and more than 10,000 have attended Barça Academy Camps.
Players from these schools who have gone on to play at the elite level include defender Takehiro Tomiyasu, currently at Arsenal in the Premier League, and Takefusa Kubo, who plays for RCD Mallorca. Both of these play for Japan and were in the team that finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.
Total of 35 permanent schools around the world
Barça Academies are FC Barcelona's own football schools for boys and girls, and which focus on the comprehensive education of its pupils. The model has been exported internationally, the idea being to expand the Barça brand and teach the rest of the world about the club’s philosophy and values.
The schools work with their own, unique system based on the same methodology that Barça uses from its youngest academy teams through to the senior team, encouraging a creative and attack-minded style of play indispensably combined with the teaching of values: respect, humility, effort, ambition and teamwork, with proven success.
FC Barcelona currently has a total of 35 Barça Academy projects. These are divided into Barça Escola Barcelona, the Barça Academy Pro in strategic locations for the club such as the United States (Miami and New York) and China (Haikou), the Barça Residency Academy Arizona (USA) and the 31 Barça Academies around the world.
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