Joan Vilà: “No club in the world has a model like ours at FC Barcelona”

Joan Vilà: “No club in the world has a model like ours at FC Barcelona”

The coach who shares methodology duties with Paco Seirul•lo forms part of a group that is working with students at the FCBCoaches Academy to make them ambassadors for the club’s DNA around the world

The Barça style is admired all around the world and everybody wants to learn more about its secrets. As a result, the two heads of the Methodology Department, Joan Vilà and Paco Seirul·lo, are on constant call to attend seminars and congresses and speak about the ingredients that go into making the perfect Barça DNA.

In February they have been working with students at the FCBCoaches Academy, creating a whole new generation of Barça ambassadors around the world.

Joan Vilà attended the congress of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in January, which brought 15,000 coaches to Baltimore. Just a few days later, he was 50,000 km away in New Zealand to attend a coaching assembly organised by Auckland City FC.

“What I do at all these congresses is explain the Barça model” he says. “Present the basic outline of our methodology and, most of all, explain where we have come from and how football has evolved in our country, and especially in the last 25 years since Johan Cruyff started coaching:”

Laureano Ruiz started the process in the 1970s when Rinus Michels was managing, but Johan made the biggest change with his idea that we need to make sure we enjoy playing the game … The vocabulary that we use when we teach children is what guides us towards that goal. We want to use the ball to play, to enjoy and to create. And we also need to teach them to compete and to win”.

Coca-Cola’s magic formula

“When I speak to coaches, they are fascinated by how our methods are both aesthetic and effective at the same time. I tell them that in order to achieve that, clubs need presidents and coaches that are ready to trust in that model, especially through hard times when you’re not winning trophies. I tell them that no club in the world is as confident about its own model as we are at Barça and that uses that same model from the youngest youth team right through to the first team.”

He likes to draw on the example of a world famous drinks company. “People think we have a magic formula, like Coca-Cola, and want us to reveal it. But there is no magic formula in football. The key to success is working internally. You don’t learn Barça DNA in two days, it takes years and a lot of people have helped us to evolve towards the model we have now.”

That’s the philosophy that Paco Seirul·lo is transmitting this week at the FCBCoaches Academy. “We are in charge of overseeing the essence of Barça’s football” he says. “And they shall be the future ambassadors of Barça when they teach children at the different FCBEscola academies that we have around the world.”

“We want them to leave this course with the basic ideas of our playing style in their heads. But it might sound hard to believe, but we don’t really know what it is. It’s not just a case of doing a training exercise and that’s it. Possession of the ball requires background work, and that’s what they’ve been learning about. And most of all, our way of viewing football and the kind of life you have to believe in. And these boys believe in it, and that’s why we are here to teach them.”

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