The Barça Academy República Dominicana has begun its seventh season with a change of venue, having moved to a new site on the playing fields at Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña (UNPHU). The opening ceremony was attended by Barça Legend and World Cup winner with Brazil in 2002 Rivaldo Ferreira, who spoke highly of the quality of the new facilities, among the very best in the Dominican Republic.
The ceremony was also attended by a large number of young athletes, parents, legends from the country’s sports scene and several representatives of Dominican sports authorities, who packed the terraces at the new ground. The traditional ribbon cutting was preceded by speeches from the Barça Academy República Dominicana’s partners, led by Fabeka Lebrón and Janet Rivera, as well as the rector of the UNPHU, Miguel Fiallo.
Rivaldo then took his turn to address the crowd, encourages the athletes at the Barça Academy to “train hard every day to achieve excellence and to be great students and even better citizens”. He then took the honorary kick-off, the first ever at the venue, and left two footprints and his signature on the floor.
The ceremony continued with the presentation of the different teams for the new season and ended with words from the International Project Director (DPI) of the Barça Academies in the Americas, Xavi Mondelo, and the recently appointed Local Project Director (DPL), Daniel Meca, who was trained as a coach at Barça Escola Barcelona.
Barça Academy República Dominicana first started operations in September 2013 and has caused an authentic revolution in football in the Caribbean country, as revealed by the number of players from the school that have been called up for international duty at different youth levels.