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Barcelona’s academy skills Marc Guiu and Lamine Yamal present La Masia DNA stays key to the membership’s success | Soccer Information

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Thirty-three seconds. That’s all that 17-year-old Marc Guiu wanted to attain on his debut for Barcelona final month. His mom was in tears. Xavi was vindicated. Simply the newest instance of the membership’s belief in La Masia, their famed academy, being rewarded.

There may be Gavi and there’s Pedri, there’s Lamine Yamal and there’s Fermin Lopez. Now, there’s Guiu. His Instagram account had 44,000 followers earlier than that kick of the soccer. Inside hours, it had topped a million. One other in a single day success story, or so it appears.

The reality is slightly completely different.

Marc Guiu’s breakthrough objective in opposition to Barcelona was a decade within the making

“Now, everyone is speaking about Marc Guiu,” Albert Capellas tells Sky Sports activities. “However he arrived on the membership 10 years in the past when he was seven years {old}. That signifies that the membership has needed to wait 10 years earlier than he may play for the primary staff. It’s a very long time.”

Capellas spent greater than a decade working in Barcelona’s academy himself. He was there when Xavi, Andre Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and, in fact, Lionel Messi, remodeled the sport and confirmed that could possibly be achieved with a staff constructed round academy graduates.

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He doesn’t speak of teaching these greats however studying from them. “I skilled Iniesta for a number of years and I at all times say that Iniesta got here into this world to indicate us tips on how to play soccer. It’s the identical with Busquets. You don’t appropriate them. They present you the best way.”

And but, he is aware of how tough it’s to go on that journey via Barcelona’s academy. Particularly when it’s so tempting for golf equipment to go for a faster repair. “In soccer, you don’t get time, and that makes these long-term tasks harder to realize,” says Capellas.

“That is why it is smart for golf equipment to begin with a unique strategic mannequin to Barcelona. As a result of once they signal gamers at 16, if they’re superb they’ll play for the primary staff in just a few years. You will get the benefit out of your funding in a short time.”

With Guiu, appreciable endurance was required. “When he was younger, he couldn’t play as a result of he had issues rising. He had ache in his knees and there was a protracted interval, from the age of 13 to fifteen, when he couldn’t prepare and he missed a whole lot of video games.”

That might have been that if the tradition had been completely different. “At a whole lot of golf equipment, in the event you can’t prepare or play, you need to depart the membership. At Barcelona, we all know the extent of the gamers. We give them time. We don’t take these loopy choices on younger gamers.”

Maybe it’s that longevity at La Masia that helps make the distinction ultimately. An adolescent signed from elsewhere is perhaps a surer factor, however they might not be steeped within the type of play, the philosophy and values that Capellas and others take such pleasure in.

“Johan Cruyff confirmed us the best way to have success,” he explains.

“There are a whole lot of issues concerned after we speak about DNA. The primary staff, the academy, the best way of creating younger gamers, the best way of enjoying, the mind-set, the best way of creating choices, the best way of scouting. Cruyff modified all the things on the membership.

“The very first thing that he modified was the successful mentality of everybody on the membership. When he arrived, we have been comfortable to win one cup each two or three years. The second factor is that he was there eight years. That’s a whole lot of time to indicate everybody how he thinks.

“All the academy groups have been enjoying in the identical approach as the primary staff, with the identical ideas, the identical mind-set, the identical drills, the identical workout routines. After eight years of everybody working in the identical path, you can see how highly effective that was.

“It’s one factor to inform a participant to scan round. It’s one other to create an surroundings in coaching that you just power the gamers to scan round. As a result of in soccer, it’s not about what , it’s about what you do. What we create in Barcelona is an surroundings.

“All people is aware of that you just want physique form, for instance. The tough factor is to make it occur. At Barcelona, we prepare in a approach that our gamers learn to place themselves higher. To instil this of their muscle reminiscence in order that it turns into automated.”

The result’s that what would possibly seem from the surface to be the largest step is extra easy than it would seem. Ansu Fati scored inside every week of his debut aged 16. Lamine was the identical age when he was man of the match in simply his second begin.

Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski, left, celebrates with Lamine Yamal after scoring his side's fourth goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Villarreal and Barcelona at the Ceramica stadium in Villarreal, Spain, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz)
Barcelona teenager Lamine Yamal celebrates with Robert Lewandowski

“Barcelona are by no means afraid to offer alternatives to gamers from the academy as a result of they’re educated within the membership’s mind-set so once they arrive to the primary staff, it is rather straightforward for them. They’ve lived with this sort of stress all of their lives.

“Once I would speak to gamers from the academy who got their likelihood within the first staff, they might say, ‘Albert, it’s a lot simpler than enjoying for the academy.’ After all. You’re surrounded by higher gamers and you’re a good participant so it’s straightforward for you.

“Once you get the ball, the opposite gamers are at all times accessible in open lanes for the passes. Once you obtain a go, it’s at all times go. By no means a bouncing ball. All the time to the proper foot with the precise timing. Have a look at Marc Guiu’s objective in opposition to Athletic.

“Why did he have success? As a result of he had Joao Felix subsequent to him who may see the go on the proper time with the precise velocity. That’s the reason he had the possibility as a result of he had the gamers round him. After all, he nonetheless needed to end the possibility and he did it effectively.”

Marc Guiu scored the winner against Athletic Bilbao on his Barcelona debut aged 17
Marc Guiu scored the winner in opposition to Athletic Bilbao on his Barcelona debut aged 17

Capellas returned to Barcelona for a 3rd stint throughout the academy in 2021, working carefully with this present crop of younger expertise, earlier than departing as soon as extra. Barcelona will at all times be his membership. Which explains his stance when that DNA is questioned.

Former participant and supervisor Ernesto Valverde did simply that earlier this 12 months, suggesting that the Cruyff DNA was overplayed. “Having had him as a coach leaves its mark on you,” mentioned Valverde.

“However the DNA factor is a little bit of a fable. When participant emerges, they are saying, ‘He has Barcelona DNA’. When there’s a unhealthy participant, ‘That one does not have the DNA’.”

These phrases brought on a stir in Catalunya.

“I perceive his remark as a result of after I watched his staff play when he was coach of Barcelona he was not enjoying that Barcelona type,” says Capellas.

“It was type and he gained trophies. He had some success. Honest sufficient. It’s not an issue. However it’s not the best way that we play soccer at Barcelona. Within the interval of Valverde, he didn’t give alternatives to the younger gamers. That can be not our type.

“What I can’t settle for is when he says it’s a fable. It’s not a fable. It is vitally vital for us and we imagine in it profoundly and deeply. It’s not an issue for me that he feels that approach. What I don’t settle for is that he undervalued what is going on in La Masia.”

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Albert Capellas explains how Barcelona prioritise scanning and physique form

What is going on at La Masia is that one other wave of expertise is rising. Capellas is worked up in regards to the “distinctive” Lamine. “I don’t need to evaluate him to Iniesta or to Messi however I can say that he’s a really particular participant who will make the distinction in soccer.”

Guiu has completely different qualities. “He isn’t a participant with unbelievable dribbling abilities however he’s a finisher who can run from deep. He’s quick, highly effective, superb at heading, very aggressive. He’s distinctive in his place and has the precise mentality, a implausible boy.”

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Given the monetary restrictions at Barcelona, may the academy be their salvation once more? “With out cash, the academy is much more vital. Our greatest intervals have at all times been the identical approach. Fifty per cent from the youth staff supplemented by the very best.”

“It’s not nearly having the concept, you need to persuade the folks across the membership, construct the story, construct the values of the membership. Not simply with coaches however with scouts and fogeys and brokers, everybody. You need to create a tradition. That takes years and years.

“When the unhealthy moments come and also you should not have success, you lose years in the event you change path. If that doesn’t work and also you need to come again to the unique path, you’ve gotten misplaced years too. It’s about staying robust when issues will not be going effectively.”

After which, after 10 years, or 33 seconds, you obtain your reward.

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