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On Wednesday the presentation of the FC Barcelona football youth teams for the season 2019/20 took place. In total 275 male players and 87 female players who make up the 21 youth teams at FC Barcelona - from the U8 teams to Barça B and the five women’s teams - came together at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper to feature in the traditional group photo which this year also coincided with the 40th anniversary of La Masia.
One by one the players from the youth teams emerges out onto the field to be greeted by representatives from the Club; president Josep Maria Bartomeu, Silvio Elias, board member responsible for the professional youth teams; Maria Teixidor, board member responsible for women’s football; Xavier Vilajoana, board member responsible for youth football; Òscar Grau, executive director and Club CEO; Éric Abidal, technical secretary professional football; Patrick Kluivert, director of youth football; Ramon Planes, assistant to the technical secretary of youth football;José Mari Bakero, technical secretary Barça B; Jordi Roura, technical secretary youth football; Aureli Altimira, responsible for 11 a side football; Quim Estrada, 7 a side football coordinator and Jordi Ventura, women’s youth football coordinator.
Patrick Kluivert advised the young players to not be satisfied with that they have: “Talent is very important but it is not everything. You cannot think that because you are now playing for Barça that you have made it. To achieve your dream, to one day get to the first team, you have to work day in day out and give your best. You have to know how to compete and above all have the patience to gradually grow and to listen to your coaches.”¡
The president Josep Maria Bartomeu highlighted the 40th anniversary of the foundation of La Masia which is being celebrated during the course of the season: “La Masia is recognised around the world as a symbol of Barça’s commitment to development. That commitment began 40 years ago with the launch of a pioneering, innovative project, the brainchild of a group of dedicated individuals led by president Josep Lluís Núñez. La Masia represents loyalty to our history, confidence in the president and hope in the future.”
The president added: “La Masia the greatest guarantee for the survival of the development model and style of play that in football starts with the youngest team and has allowed the four first team captains to have come through La Masia. A style that this season has been strengthened by the creation of the Methodology Department led by Paco Seirul·lo. Who better to be a guardian of the system.”
Bartomeu also had words for the women’s team: “I would like to stress, for another year, FC Barcelona’s commitment to women’s football.” The president continued by encouraging the youngsters in the youth teams to persist with their dream of becoming professional footballers. “Developing and being a good person will make you better footballers...the most important thing is to take it slowly and we have here players from La Masia who are playing for the first team such as Ansu Fati and Carles Pérez and other players from Barça B who have made their debuts and who are training with Ernesto Valverde’s squad,” concluded Josep Maria Bartomeu.
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