They call it the La Masia. The very bane of their arch-rivals, Real Madrid, it seems. When translated literally from Spanish to English, its meaning is ‘the farmhouse’ but the truth is that it is the heart and soul of Barca’s success for so many decades now. To put it simply, it’s the youth academy for the renowned club known as FC Barcelona.
Experts attribute Barca’s success to the training that goes on here… and right from Josep Guardiola all the way to Thiago Motta every player that you now see on your television sets in big matches have been through the rigor of training preparing for the “big time” right at this location which is near their stadium, and known to fans as the Camp Nou.
But what does this have to do with the current success that FC Barcelona is enjoying, thanks to win both the La Liga BBVA and the Champions’ League?
A lot, actually, and this can be attributed to the return of Cesc Fabregas to complete the roster, just like in the good old days when they used to play for the Barca youth team, and smash their opponents.
Yes, we’re talking about the four key players that are front and center: Messi, Pique, Pedro and Fabregas. Sergio Busquets was from the 1988 class…
Nothing substitutes long years of training and hard work, and it’s something that Pep is pretty aware of who also graduated from the same system with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Valdes and Puyol.
Something that Real Madrid is also coming to terms with as just paying good players from other countries to “do the job” isn’t going to be enough…
So, will the La Masia class of ’87 work their magic together this year?
Only time will tell as the ‘old guard’ changes… but you can be sure that these classmates will have fun alright!