FC Barcelona’s football school, the Barça Academy today held a special coaching clinic at the Nara Ikomi facility for 60 children with 7 Barça Academy coaches. The children were joined by ex-Barcelona player, Juliano Belletti, who famously scored for Barça in the Champions League final in 2006, as well as winning the World Cup with Brazil.
The day commenced with a speech from Board member, Mr. Pau Villanova who has a long track record of serving FC Barcelona, having been part of the Social Commission between 2003-2005 and serving as chairman since 2010. This was followed by speeches from Mr. Carles Martin, Director of Barça Academy and Juliano Belletti. Belletti encouraged the children to play the game in the right manner, embodying the values that run through the Club. The kids were then divided in to 4 groups and proceeded to take part in 3 exercises designed to improve their footballing skills based on possession, pressing and pressure. Belletti joined in the exercises with the children, giving them a training session never to forget.
FC Barcelona opened its first ever Barça Academy in Asia in Fukuoka, Japan 10 years ago in 2009, but have been running camps in the country since 2007. The Club have since opened three more academies in Katushika, Nara and Shinagawa Oimachi, each managed by a technical director from Catalonia. Currently, there are 1,200 children playing in the Academy in Japan, being taught by coaches specifically trained in the Barça style of play, philosophy and values. A further 1,000 kids are taught through the shorter camps every year.
The Japan Academy teams are 4 of 53 Barça Academies globally and they have been performing well at international tournaments recently. In April 2019, the Katushika Academy won the Barça Academy World Cup U12 tournament in April at the Ciutat Esportiva in Barcelona, finishing ahead of 63 other teams. Elsewhere, the Fukuoka U10 team achieved a top 10 finish in their 54-team tournament. Earlier in the year, the Japanese Academies won all categories apart from the U15 category at the Barça Academy APAC Cup.
The core values of FC Barcelona are Humility, Effort, Ambition, Respect and Teamwork, values that flow through every element of the Club. Barça Academy teaches these values and a footballing methodology based on a unique style of play to children who attend the Academies.
Earlier in the week, Barça Academy coaches had run special clinics in collaboration with Rakuten, the primary sponsor of the Barça Academy in Japan, in both Tokyo & Kobe, giving children the opportunity to experience the Barça way of training. The children, competition winners, also had the opportunity to meet some of the current FC Barcelona first team.
“It is a pleasure being so far away from Barcelona but still seeing this passion to play in the Barça style and learn with Barça. Today, Juliano Belletti came here to explain to kids his own experience as a player and spend some time playing with them. Also, he has told kids what you need to do as a professional player and all the effort you need to put in to succeed”.