Guillermo Amor. PHOTO: Arxiu FCB

Guillermo Amor, technical director of the FC Barcelona youth system, qualified last season as “very good in terms of titles won.” However, Amor went on to say that “[most people] see the results, but we look at the season as a whole, how the players behave on a daily basis.” Amor added, “we should be proud of the results, but even more so because of how we did it. In many occasions it’s more important how how you achieve a result, because we’re focusing on our style of play and how we interpret football.”

Project continuity

The fact that nearly all of last season’s managers will stay on at Barça next season will help in the development of the youth players, said Amor. “The idea is to have the same managers, that we make the fewest changes possible. The managers are very pleased and they want to stay on. If I didn’t like my job, I wouldn’t be here. Being at the Club is a reason to be proud,” he said.

The importance of developing players

“The pressure is easier to deal with when a homegrown player makes it to the first team, because he knows what Barça is. He also feels supported by the group of homegrown players around him. He’s taken care of because the rest of the team has experienced the same thing,” said the technical director.

In addition, Amor said that he tries to not only teach the youngsters about Barça’s philosophy but what it means to play for Barça: “we always say that winning is not a priority, we’re focused on developing players. But we can’t forget about teaching a winning attitude. The youngsters have to know what it means to represent Barça and they have to perform well.”

Players leaving Can Barça

Three Barça youth products recently decided to sign with Premier League teams. When asked about the issue Amor said, “we have to be calm about it. The decision is a personal one. We don’t stop anyone from leaving. However, we usually only have about one player who decides to leave per year.”

“The difference between those who make it and those who don’t is all about mentality”

Many players that come through the youth system are talented enough to break into top flight football, but for Amor the difference between those who make it into Barça’s senior side and those who don’t boils down to “their mentality, they need to have a clear idea of what they’re doing, they need to have goals and work towards them.”

“Saying that this child or that child will break into the first team is very complicated and we shouldn’t do it. We have a lot of talented players but they have to grow, they have a long road ahead. When they’re cadetes or juveniles the picture becomes a bit more clear,” concluded Amor.

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