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Born on January 31, 1929, Oriol Tort was an amateur player for FC Barcelona during the 1946-47, 1947-48 and 1948-49 seasons. Later he played for U. E. Vilassar de Mar (1949-51), C.D. Sarrià (1951-54) and F.C. Bonanova (1954-56). After retiring from football, he obtained the title of regional coach on August 19, 1958, and joined FC Barcelona on September 29, 1959, in the days of Helenio Herrera. Between 1959 and 1977 he was coach of the Barça Infant team.
In 1977 he stopped training because of a hip injury and became part of the club's technical team. From 1980 until his death he was coordinator of Futbol Base, the youth section at Barça, a facet that he shared with Joan Martínez Vilaseca for many years. During this time, Tort was present at the most important football and youth football competitions around the world. Side by side with Martínez Vilaseca, Tort worked with children who dreamed of playing in the first team one day.
He took on the role of father, psychologist and teacher to many of the new FC Barcelona talents, and considered that he should prepare them as people as well as footballers. That is why he was looking for young people with a spirit of constant improvement and ability to work as a team. This was one of his main virtues: he knew how to find players that didn't stand out too much, but that fitted the Barça profile. When a possible signing was proposed, Oriol Tort responded: "We don't test, we will look at them in their own environment." That's how it was. He spent hours looking for players, on any pitch in Catalonia and at any time. He didn't care, he was in love with what he was doing and for whom he was doing it. Once the case of any player had been analysed, he made decision without fuss. At this point, he was aware that he had to be sincere and direct.
In spite of his numerous successes, his idea was: "The discoverers do not exist, it's the players who discover themselves." Those who knew him speak of him as someone well ahead of their time, a simple genius that dealt with everyone who addressed him, from executives to the players, naturally. And he usually did it with a characteristic irony and grace.
Thanks to Oriol Tort, a good number of young players were discovered and soon played professionally, such as Josep Guardiola, Sergi Barjuán, Guillermo Amor, Roger García, Quique Álvarez, Toni Velamazán, Juan Carlos Moreno, Iván de la Peña, Xavi Hernández, Gabri García, Mario Rosas, Mikel Arteta and Carles Puyol. He died in Barcelona on September 10, 1999. The new Masia at the Ciutat Esportiva in Sant Joan Despí is named after him.
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