Almost all football clubs that compete on high levels every year, founded academies to produce talented players. La Masia is one of the most reputable and successful academies, if not the most. FC Barcelona’s legacy is built-in this academy by developing young players with the Catalan culture, philosophy, and principles.
The History of “La Masia”
“La Masia” a Catalan word for the farmhouse, is FC Barcelona’s academy. Young players come in to receive football and academic education known as the Barcelona philosophy. In 1702, the original building known as “La Masia de Can Planes” was built as an ancient farmstead. In 1957, this building served as the club’s headquarter after building the Camp Nou next to it. Later in 1979, it transformed into a dormitory for young players to reside coming from outside of Barcelona city. In 2011, with a cost of 11 million euros, the “La Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper” training complex replaced the old building. This complex includes pitches, gym, kitchen, massage room became the new center for the academy as it can house 83 athletes.
La Masia Philosophy: The secret of Barcelona’s legacy
This academy was built on principles of “Barcelona’s DNA” influenced by the legendary Johan Cruyff. It is a philosophy that combines Total football with the traditional Spanish one-touch play known as Tiki-Taka. This is the secret of its success in producing world-class talents with a special technique in moving and controlling the ball smoothly to hurt the opposition. Pep Guardiola, a La Masia graduate hugely influenced by Cruyff, illustrated this philosophy in the best way. He won a historical Sextuple in 2009 with graduates the likes of Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi.
Cruyff established a very clear philosophy at Barcelona, he gave birth to that philosophy, he created Barça’s DNA.Xavi on Johan Cruyff
List of famous La Masia graduates
Admission to the academy
The academy scouts and trainers look for young players with great potential between the ages of 6-11 years; moreover, the majority of the soccer players chosen for Barcelona’s youth academy are from Spain and the Catalonia region. FCB Escola program undergoes trials every year to give a chance for talented players to progress in La Masia from all around the world; therefore, foreign players can reside in the academy to help the players develop and benefit the club in the future.
Academies play the most important role in creating a legacy for any club and its own philosophy. La Masia is a great example of this cycle which created history for FC Barcelona. Real Madrid, Ajax, Sporting FC, and Santos are top academies that the club relies on every year in producing talents to help in competing in all competitions. In your opinion, what is the best academy in the football world?