The second edition of the Barça Academy Cup APAC is about to start at the grounds of the Barça Academy Delhi NCR at the Heritage School in Gurgaon. The competition reserved for FC Barcelona’s soccer schools in the Asia Pacific zone is being played in conjunction with the Barça Academy Cup India for schools in the country, and runs from Friday 31 January to next Sunday 2 February, featuring more than 700 boys and girls aged 7 to 14 years and from six different countries.
The tournament features four different categories (U9, U11, U13 and U15) and is sure to bring a few days of cultural enrichment and wonderful personal experiences for everyone involved. The young athletes will also get to enjoy several workshops in which they will be introduced to typical Indian traditions and on Wednesday got to visit one of the country's most famous landmarks, the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
The six countries being represented are Australia (Brisbane and Sydney), India (Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai), Japan (Fukuoka, Katsushika, Nara and Shinagawa Oimachi), Singapore, Turkey (Istanbul) and two teams from Barça Escola Barcelona. All of the different categories are being played played 7-a-side, with 20-minute halves, apart from U15, which will be played as 25-minute halves.
The opening ceremony is in the afternoon of Thursday 30 and will be attended in person by the worldwide director of the Barça Academy programme, Carles Martín; and the Head of Barça Academy Asia Pacific, Carlos Palacín.
Meanwhile, the first edition of the Barça Academy Cup India features players from the local schools in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai in three categories: U10, U12 and U14.
More than 50 permanent Barça Academy projects in the five continents
Barça Academies are FC Barcelona's own football schools for boys and girls, and which focus on the comprehensive education of its pupils. The model has been exported internationally, the idea being to expand the Barça brand and teach the rest of the world about the club’s philosophy and values.
The schools work with their own, unique system based on the same methodology that Barça uses from its youngest academy teams through to the senior team, encouraging a creative and attack-minded style of play indispensably combined with the teaching of values: respect, humility, effort, ambition and teamwork, with proven success.
FC Barcelona currently has over 50 Barça Academy projects around the world, plus more than 180 camps and 50 clinics, in 56 countries on all five continents, involving more than 45,000 children in the different activities that they run.
The Barça Academy projects are divided into Barça Escola Barcelona, the Barça Academy Pro in Haikou (China) and New York (USA), Barça Residency Academy Arizona (USA) and the Barça Academies in all five continents.