THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Barca Academy India to host Asia-Pacific (APAC) Soccer Cup 2019

Barça Academy

The Barca Academy’s Asia-Pacific (APAC) Soccer Cup 2019 will be hosted by Barca Academy India at The Heritage Xperiential Learning School, Gurugram from January 24 to 27, 2019. The premier intra-Barca Academy competition will have 48 international teams vying for the honours in the mega tournament. Barca Academy teams representing Australia, Japan, China, Spain, Singapore and India will be participating in categories of U-9, U-11, U-13 and U-15.

True to FC Barcelona tenet, the football school teams from Asia Pacific will not just be focusing on winning the tournament only but will be part of various holistic human development programmes that instils camaraderie, respect for all and helps in the overall development as a better individual. During the tournament, there will be activities like yoga, meditation and increasing team play spirit through dance forms.

FC Barcelona was the first major European club to set up base in India in 2011 when they partnered with Conscient Football and held the first FCBEscola Camp in New Delhi. The camp was a big success and since has been a regular feature of the footballing calendar of many top cities in the county. Encouraged by the huge demand for world-class youth training, FCB and CF decided to open the first Barca Academy in New Delhi. Many of the players in the FCBCamps and Barca Academy have travelled to Barcelona to participate in the Escola International Tournament, FCBClinics and various other tournaments. Barça Academy India now has the largest offering of all such academies and has trained more than 25,000 players across various formats.

Speaking on Asia-Pacific Cup, Aitor Olmo, Tournament Director, said, “The Asia-Pacific Cup is one of the key tournaments in the Barca Academy calendar. The tournament showcases not only the football players of the future but also brings forward their holistic development. India is not only an important partner country for Barca Academy but is also a country that exudes passion for football. Hosting the tournament in India is a fitting honour to the rich sports legacy of India.”

This is for the first time that India will be hosting an international intra club football tournament of such large magnitude. The tournament will be played in the format of 5-a-side team with 30 minutes match for Under-9 and 7-a-side format for a 40 minutes match for Under-11 & U-13 and 50-minutes match for Under-15. The tournament will have presence of over 700 players apart from respective academy official and parents. On September 29, 2018 FC Barcelona Legend and former Argentina World Cup player, Javier Saviola announced that Barca Academy India will be hosting the Asia Pacific Cup 2019.

Sharing her thoughts on Asia-Pacific Cup, Anupama Jain, Director Conscient Football, said, “It is indeed a proud moment for India that the intra Barca Academy Asia-Pacific Tournament will be held here. A country with passion for sports, India has been home to loyal and ever-growing football fans and aspiring football players. This tournament is not just about football, it is about coming of different cultures, showcasing talent and fostering friendship across young minds. And what a sight it will be to see young footballers trained under the uniform Barca training methodology! In Barca Academy & Conscient Football’s journey so far, we have focused on enhancing not only the standard of the game but have also successfully delivered focused training programs tailor-made for India, without compromising on Barca quality and values. Today, India boasts of Barca Academy permanent training base across Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru.”

Barca Academy’s training methodology nurtures talent while providing holistic development to the youth. More than just learning to play football, the academy instils in a youngster the Barca values of camaraderie, friendship, trust and loyalty. The program in India mirrors these values and has taken the lead in providing many Value-added programs like Physical Fitness & Conditioning, Health, Nutrition and Wellness etc. The children and even their parents benefit greatly from these activities that are learnings for life.