MEDELLIN, Colombia – FC Barcelona opened on Thursday a new soccer academy – FCBEscola Medellin – one of three in Colombia, aiming to train some 450 children and youths ages 6-18.
“The project seeks to provide a very high-level quality sports (education) to school-age children for everyone to live the Barça experience,” the club’s academies director, Carles Martin, told reporters.
He said that after the “great response” to the academy in Bogota – which opened in August 2017 and has 700 enrolled students –, he wanted to keep “growing together” with Colombia with projects aimed at spreading the “Barça idea” around the world and conveying the Spanish team’s values and game methodology.
Martin admitted that signing Colombian defender Yerry Mina to the team was also a contributing factor.
“Colombia is the country with the most academies in South America,” he said. “We hope (the number) keeps growing.”
Martin added that the club plans to expand “little by little” across Colombia and that the Cali and Medellin schools were opened because they met the appropriate requirements.
The head of FCBEscola Medellin, David Martin, said that a percentage of players will be provided a scholarship following a sports assessment.
The intention, he said, is to make the school affordable for children and youths from different economic conditions, adding that talent “comes from the lowest (socio-economic) levels.”