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La Masia

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La Masia de Can Planes
La Masia (Can Planas) (Barcelona) - 1.jpg
Main façade of La Masia
La Masia is located in Spain
La Masia
Location within Spain
Alternative names La Masia
General information
Town or city Barcelona
Country Spain
Coordinates 41°22′59″N 2°07′23″E / 41.3831°N 2.1231°E / 41.3831; 2.1231Coordinates: 41°22′59″N 2°07′23″E / 41.3831°N 2.1231°E / 41.3831; 2.1231
Completed 1702
Renovated 1966
Owner FC Barcelona

La Masia de Can Planes, usually shortened to La Masia, (Catalan pronunciation: [ɫə məˈzi.ə], English: "The Farmhouse"),[1] is often used to generically describe the Barcelona youth academy. This academy holds more than 300 young players, and has been praised since 2002 as one of the best in the world, being a significant factor in FC Barcelona's European success as well as the Spanish national team's success at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.[citation needed]

In 2010, La Masia became the first youth academy to have trained all three finalists for the Ballon d'Or in a single year, with Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Xavi.[2]

La Masia is also the name of FC Barcelona's football training facilities, originally located near the Camp Nou in the Les Corts district of Barcelona. The original building itself was an ancient country residence (In Catalan: masia) built in 1702, and once Camp Nou was inaugurated in 1957, the building was remodelled and extended for use as the club's social headquarters. With the gradual expansion of the club, the building became too small for headquarters, and on 20 October 1979, La Masia was converted into a dormitory for young players from outside of Barcelona. On 30 June 2011, the Masia building ceased housing the young sportsmen who are trained to become a part of the club’s professional teams. In a simple ceremony, the doors were closed and the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper took over the function of the residential center for the youngsters.


In 1979 Johan Cruyff wanted to establish a copy of the Ajax Academy in Barcelona. His proposal was accepted by president Josep Núñez.

La Masia de Can Planes was an old Catalan farmhouse, built in 1702. In 1979, it was first used by the club to house its young footballers who originated from outside of Barcelona.[3] The idea for the youth academy was proposed to Núñez by Johan Cruyff, and Oriol Tort was put in charge of the facility.[4]

In 2011, it was announced that Barcelona would be moving all its football training activities to La Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.[5]

La Masia received more publicity after Barcelona B's success with homegrown players; Rory Smith reported in The Daily Telegraph that La Masia "has replaced the fabled Ajax Academy as football's foremost production line".[6] The recent fame and success of La Masia as a talent school was ascribed by Ian Hawkey of The Times to the class of 1987, which featured prominent members such as Cesc Fàbregas, Lionel Messi, Gerard Piqué and Pedro.[7] In 2000, Louis van Gaal, coach of Barcelona's first team, was widely ridiculed by the city sports media for his dream to win the Champions League with 11 home-grown players. The first team won the trophy in 2009 with eight home-grown players.[8]

From 1979 to 2009, 440 youngsters have left their homes and families to stay at the academy. About half of them were from Catalonia, and the rest came from other regions of the Kingdom of Spain and beyond, including 15 from Cameroon, 7 from Brazil, 5 from Senegal and 3 from Argentina. Of those 440, 40 made it into Barcelona's first team.[9]


La Masia houses about 60 players: 10 in the farmhouse, and the rest in rooms of the adjacent stadium; the rest of the youth players must provide for their own accommodation.[3][10] The academy is one of the most expensive in Europe, operating at a cost of £5 million a year. The main cost is the dormitory, La Masia itself.[10] The minimum age for the youth program is six years; each year, more than 1,000 boys from the ages of six to eight try out for admittance. The best 200 are selected.[11] The club also actively seeks for prospective students; it employs a system in which 15 scouts are deployed in Catalonia, 15 in the rest of Spain and 10 scattered throughout the world. To alleviate the expenses of this scouting, the club has an agreement with 15 local clubs for them to train players who are not ready for entry into the youth academy. In return, FC Barcelona gives money, coaching and technical advice to these clubs for their services.[12] While expanding its operations abroad, the club established five schools in Mexico and one in Egypt; successful applicants to these schools become full-time students, receiving academic education and football training.[13]

Sergio Busquets, a graduate of La Masia, has been a part of the Barcelona first team since 2008.

When Guardiola re-organised the reserve side, he set up a three-staged program to formalise the advancement from Juvenil to Barcelona B and finally to the first team. The first stage of a youth player's career involves a rotation scheme with Barcelona B. The second stage involves making the player aware of his importance to the team and the expectation that the player will improve cohesion and performance within the reserve side. In the last stage, he is designated a "key" player of the B team and might be called to the first team. One of the players in the third phase is made captain, regardless of the experience of older players.[8]

The teams at Barcelona play from August to May; mild weather at La baks allows players to train outdoors throughout the year. The youth teams train after school; Barcelona B plays as a professional team, training in the morning and evening.[14] All of the trainers at FC Barcelona are former professional footballers.[15]

Barcelona B, the club's main youth team, and the 12 other youth teams contained 24 coaches and more than 300 players. There are 56 other employees, including doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, cooks and physiologists.[10] In the 2009–10 season, the B team qualified for the Segunda División again. Barcelona B play in a 4–3–3 formation, which is the same formation employed by the first team.[16]

Squad Age Head Coach Assistant Coach League
Barcelona B[n 1] Gerard Francisco García Pimienta Segunda División
Juvenil A 16–18/99-98 Gabri Albert Jorquera División de Honor (Gr. 3)
Juvenil B 16–18/00-99/ Quique Álvarez Denis Silva Liga Nacional (Gr. 7)
Cadete A 14–15/2001/ Franc Artiga Xavier Franquesa División de Honor
Cadete B 14–15/2002/ Cristian Catena Carlos López Preferente (Gr. 1)
Infantil A 12–13/2003/ Carles Martínez Isaac García División de Honor
Infantil B 12–13/2004/ Sergi Milà Óscar Hernández Preferente (Gr. 1)
Alevín A 10–11/2005/ Marc Serra Pau Moral Fútbol 7 Preferente (Gr. 1)
Alevín B 10–11/2005/ Jordi Font Josep Ramon Olivé Fútbol 7 Preferente (Gr. 2)
Alevín C 10–11/2006/ Óscar Jorquera David Sánchez Fútbol 7 Primera División (Gr. 1)
Alevín D 10–11/2006/ Daniel Horcas Miguel Ángel Caldeón Fútbol 7 Primera División (Gr. 2)
Benjamín A 8–9/2007/ Jordi Pérez Rafael Rodríguez Fútbol 7 Preferente (Gr. 1)
Benjamín B 8–9/2007/ David Sánchez Alejandro Urrestarazu Fútbol 7 Preferente (Gr. 2)
Benjamín C 8–9/2008/ Albert Puig Joaquim Ramon Fútbol 7 Primera División (Gr. 1)
Benjamín D 8–9/2008/ Alexis Pinto Adrià Díaz Fútbol 7 Primera División (Gr. 2)
Prebenjamín 6–7/2009/ Juanan Gil Daniel Segovia Benjamín 7 Segunda División (Gr. 4)

[citation needed]


Guillermo Amor, Albert Ferrer, Josep Mussons (Barça Vice-president) and Pep Guardiola. This photo was displayed for many years at the entrance of La Masia dining room. Their signature, in Catalan language, encourages future young Barça players by saying "With effort and sacrifice, you can also make it. Just do it, it is worth it!".

"The player who has passed through La Masia has something different to the rest, it's a plus that only comes from having competed in a Barcelona shirt from the time you were a child."

— Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola[18]

Former technical director, Pep Segura, attributes the club's success to its "philosophy of play": "It is about creating one philosophy, one mentality, from the bottom of the club to the top". The philosophy consists of the application of total football mixed with traditional Spanish one-touch play (tiqui-taka). The total football approach was derived from the Netherlands football team through Cruyff.[6] The total football approach requires the players to move in a fluid formation, where players can interchange positions quickly. In the youth academy, there is a large focus on technical ability, which is seen as a pre-requisite for inter-changes.[6][19] An often-quoted reason for Barcelona's success is the continuity and commitment with which Barcelona follow the current philosophy of pass and move. Guardiola was the prototype of the pivotal midfielder; famous midfielders Xavi and Iniesta are its custodians.[20]

Another aspect of La Masia is its marked Catalan national character—local talent in the service of a club with a strong, defining sense of the cultural make-up of Catalonia.[21]


The new Masia residence, opened in 2011 at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.

In 2009, Messi became the first player from La Masia to be awarded with the Ballon d'Or prize for the best footballer in Europe, and the FIFA World Player award, for the best footballer in the world.[22]

On 11 July 2010, Spain won the World Cup final with seven players from Barcelona: Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Pedro, and Víctor Valdés. Including Cesc Fàbregas and Pepe Reina, there were a total of nine players from La Masia in this squad. Six of them were in the starting line-up: Gerard Piqué, Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, and Pedro. The seven players from Barcelona set a record for the most players to be provided by a club side for a team in a World Cup final.[23] Joachim Löw, coach of Germany, said after his side's defeat by Spain that the opposition had a distinct Barcelona style: "You can see it in every pass, how Spain plays is how Barcelona plays. They can hardly be beaten. They are extremely confident and very calm in the way they circulate the ball."[24]


Below is a sortable list of La Masia alumni who have played within FC Barcelona or FC Barcelona B. Only league appearances (first and second division) and goals are included.[n 2]

FC Barcelona includes games of FC Barcelona B in second division.

Name Nationality[n 3] Position Year of birth Career[n 4] Appearances
[citation needed]
Goals Clubs
Pedraza, ÁngelÁngel Pedraza  Spain Defender 1962 1980–1997 341 20 Barcelona, Mallorca
Milla, LuisLuis Milla  Spain Midfielder 1966 1984–2001 338 11 Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia
Nayim, Nayim  Spain Midfielder 1966 1985–2000 387 35 Barcelona, Tottenham, Zaragoza, Logroñés
Amor, GuillermoGuillermo Amor  Spain Midfielder 1967 1984–2003 451 58 Barcelona, Fiorentina, Villarreal, Livingston
Parralo, CristóbalCristóbal Parralo  Spain Defender 1967 1986–2003 558 14 Barcelona, Oviedo, Logroñés, Espanyol, PSG
Ferrer, AlbertAlbert Ferrer  Spain Defender 1970 1988–2003 328 2 Barcelona, Tenerife, Chelsea
Jiménez, ToniToni Jiménez  Spain Goalkeeper 1970 1991–2004 367 0 Figueres, Rayo, Espanyol, Atlético Madrid, Elche
Barjuán, SergiSergi Barjuán  Spain Defender 1971 1991–2005 395 10 Barcelona, Atlético Madrid
Guardiola, PepPep Guardiola  Spain Midfielder 1971 1990–2006 328 14 Barcelona, Brescia, Roma, Al Ahli, Dorados de Sinaloa
Pinilla, AntonioAntonio Pinilla  Spain Forward 1971 1988–2008 452 73 Barcelona, Mallorca, Albacete, Tenerife, Salamanca, Gimnàstic
Carreras, LluísLluís Carreras  Spain Defender 1972 1991–2007 318 33 Barcelona, Oviedo, Racing, Mallorca, Atlético Madrid, Murcia, Alavés
Cembranos, LuisLuis Cembranos  Spain Midfielder 1972 1992–2004 246 45 Figueres, Barcelona, Espanyol, Rayo
García, ÓscarÓscar García  Spain Midfielder 1973 1991–2005 271 58 Barcelona, Albacete, Valencia, Espanyol, Lleida
Cruyff, JordiJordi Cruyff  Netherlands Midfielder 1974 1992–2010 299 55 Barcelona, Manchester United, Celta, Alavés, Espanyol, Metalurh Donetsk, Valletta
Moreno, JaviJavi Moreno  Spain Forward 1974 1995–2010 229 71 Barcelona, Alavés, Numancia, Milan, Atlético Madrid, Bolton, Zaragoza, Córdoba
Alvarez, QuiqueQuique Álvarez  Spain Defender 1975 1993–2009 370 8 Barcelona, Logroñés, Lleida, Villareal, Recreativo
Arnau, FrancescFrancesc Arnau  Spain Goalkeeper 1975 1995–2011 240 0 Barcelona, Málaga
Arpón, ÓscarÓscar Arpón  Spain Midfielder 1975 1995–2012 371 23 Barcelona, Betis, Racing, Mallorca, Osasuna, Poli Ejido, Recreativo, Salamanca, Gimnàstic
Celades, AlbertAlbert Celades  Spain Midfielder 1975 1993–2009 281 15 Barcelona, Celta, Real Madrid, Girondins Bordeaux, Zaragoza, New York Red Bulls
Peña, Iván de laIván de la Peña  Spain Midfielder 1976 1993–2011 334 25 Barcelona, Lazio, Olympique Marseille, Espanyol
García, RogerRoger García  Spain Midfielder 1976 1994–2007 284 35 Barcelona, Espanyol, Villarreal, Ajax
Rufete, FranciscoFrancisco Rufete  Spain Midfielder 1976 1995–2012 404 33 Barcelona, Toledo, Málaga, Valencia, Espanyol, Hércules
Velamazán, ToniToni Velamazán  Spain Midfielder 1977 1994–2011 283 36 Barcelona, Oviedo, Albacete, Extremadura, Espanyol, Almería
García, LuisLuis García  Spain Forward 1978 1998–¤ 417 89 Barcelona, Valladolid, Toledo, Tenerife, Atlético Madrid, Liverpool, Racing, Panathinaikos, Puebla, Pumas UNAM, Atlético Kolkata
Luque, AlbertAlbert Luque  Spain Forward 1978 1997–2011 316 81 Mallorca, Málaga, Deportivo, Newcastle, Ajax
Puyol, CarlesCarles Puyol  Spain Defender 1978 1996–2014 431 15 Barcelona
Gabri, Gabri  Spain Midfielder 1979 1998–2014 293 24 Barcelona, Ajax, Umm Salal, Sion, Lausanne
Gerard, Gerard  Spain Midfielder 1979 1996–2011 259 31 Barcelona, Valencia, Alavés, Monaco, Recreativo, Girona
Xavi, Xavi  Spain Midfielder 1980 1998–¤ 510 57 Barcelona, Al Sadd
Trashorras, RobertoRoberto Trashorras  Spain Midfielder 1981 1999–¤ 301 34 Barcelona, Numancia, Las Palmas, Celta, Rayo
Babangida, HarunaHaruna Babangida  Nigeria Forward 1982 1998–2015 110 42 Barcelona
Arteta, MikelMikel Arteta  Spain Midfielder 1982 2000–¤ 383 58 PSG, Rangers, Real Sociedad, Everton, Arsenal
Motta, ThiagoThiago Motta  Italy Midfielder 1982 2001–¤ 261 29 Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Genoa, Inter Milan, PSG
Navarro, FernandoFernando Navarro  Spain Defender 1982 2001–¤ 328 3 Barcelona, Albacete, Mallorca, Sevilla
Reina, PepePepe Reina  Spain Goalkeeper 1982 2000–¤ 454 0 Barcelona, Villarreal, Liverpool, Napoli, Bayern Munich
Valdés, VíctorVíctor Valdés  Spain Goalkeeper 1982 2002–¤ 387 0 Barcelona, Manchester United, Standard Liège, Middlesbrough
García, SergioSergio García  Spain Forward 1983 2003–¤ 320 77 Barcelona, Levante, Zaragoza, Betis, Espanyol
Verdú, JoanJoan Verdú  Spain Midfielder 1983 2002–¤ 264 41 Deportivo, Espanyol, Betis, Baniyas
Iniesta, AndrésAndrés Iniesta  Spain Midfielder 1984 2002–¤ 352 33 Barcelona
Fàbregas, CescCesc Fàbregas  Spain Midfielder 1987 2003–¤ 330 65 Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea
Messi, LionelLionel Messi  Argentina Forward 1987 2004–¤ 348 312 Barcelona
Piqué, GerardGerard Piqué  Spain Defender 1987 2005–¤ 215 17 Manchester United, Zaragoza, Barcelona
Pedro, Pedro  Spain Forward 1987 2008–¤ 231 65 Barcelona, Chelsea
Busquets, SergioSergio Busquets  Spain Midfielder 1988 2008–¤ 238 6 Barcelona
Alba, JordiJordi Alba  Spain Defender 1989 2008–¤ 204 12 UE Cornellà, Valencia CF, Barcelona
dos Santos, GiovaniGiovani dos Santos  Mexico Forward 1989 2006–¤ 28 4 Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, Mallorca, Villarreal, LA Galaxy
Bojan, Bojan  Spain Forward 1990 2007–¤ 221 54 Barcelona, Roma, Milan, Ajax, Stoke City
dos Santos, JonathanJonathan dos Santos  Mexico Midfielder 1990 2009–¤ 14 0 Barcelona, Villarreal
Alcântara, ThiagoThiago Alcântara  Spain Midfielder 1991 2009–¤ 127 10 Barcelona, Bayern München
Montoya, MartínMartín Montoya  Spain Defender 1991 2011–¤ 120 1 Barcelona, Internazionale, Real Betis, Valencia
Roberto, SergiSergi Roberto  Spain Midfielder 1992 2010–¤ 230 12 Barcelona
Rafinha, Rafinha  Brazil Midfielder 1993 2011–¤ 132 28 Barcelona, Celta Vigo
Bagnack, MackyMacky Bagnack  Cameroon Defender 1995 2012-¤ 43 1 Barcelona
Dongou, Jean MarieJean Marie Dongou  Cameroon Forward 1995 2013-¤ 1 0 Barcelona
Paik, Seung-HoSeung-Ho Paik  South Korea Midfielder 1997 2009-¤ 1 0 Barcelona
Kaptoum, WilfridWilfrid Kaptoum  Cameroon Midfielder 1996 2015-¤ 0 0 Barcelona
Seung-woo, LeeLee Seung-woo  South Korea Forward 1998 2011-¤ 1 0 Barcelona


  1. ^ No age restrictions; a fully professional team. Before the disbandment of Barcelona C, only players under 21 were allowed, but that is no longer the case.[17]
  2. ^ All player information from La Liga can be found on the official La Liga homepage, which list player data for each completed season.[25]
  3. ^ Country indicates national team as it has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
  4. ^ Begins with first top-tier league game and ends with the last


  • McShane, Kevin (2002). Coaching youth soccer: the European model. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1088-4. 
  • Martí Perarnau, Senda de campeones : De La Masía al Camp Nou, 10 Books (Grup 62), 2011.
  1. ^ Price, Sean (6 July 2010). "School of Soccer Champions". Scholastic. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  2. ^, It’s an all Barça affair at FIFA Ballon d’Or Archived December 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b Rogers, Iain (22 October 2009). "Barca talent farm marks 30 years of success". Reuters. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Genis Sinca. "Oriol Tort, the soul of Barça’s Masia". Barcelona Metropolis. Ayuntament de Barcelona. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Inside : Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper". Inside Spanish Football. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2013. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b c Smith, Rory (17 July 2010). "World Cup 2010: Spain's battle won on the playing fields of Barcelona". Telegraph. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  7. ^ Hawkey, Ian (28 March 2010). "Friends reunited: Cesc Fabregas and the class of 1987". The Times. Retrieved 30 July 2010.  (subscription required)
  8. ^ a b Perarnau, Martí (18 August 2010). "La Masia, como un laboratorio" (in Spanish). Retrieved 19 August 2010. [dead link]
  9. ^ Rogers, Iain (25 May 2009). "INTERVIEW-Soccer-La Masia a fertile breeding ground for Barca". Reuters. Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c Kay, Alex (27 March 2010). "Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique... all forged in Barcelona's hothouse of champions". Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  11. ^ McShane, Kevin. p. 39
  12. ^ McShane, Kevin. p. 53
  13. ^ "FCBEscola". FC Barcelona. Archived from the original on 3 October 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2010. 
  14. ^ McShane, Kevin. p. 74-79
  15. ^ McShane, Kevin. p. 105
  16. ^ McShane, Kevin. p. 77
  17. ^ McShane, Kevin. p. 79
  18. ^ "Barça kids at home at La Masia". UEFA. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  19. ^ McShane, Kevin. p. 74
  20. ^ Lowe, Sid (24 May 2009). "Andrés Iniesta graduates from cameo role to take centre stage at Barcelona". Guardian. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  21. ^ Hawkey, Ian (14 May 2006). "Fame academy". The Times.  (subscription required)
  22. ^ Pellicer, Miquel (1 December 2009). "Messi, primer Balón de Oro de la Masia del Barça". El Mundo Deportivo. Archived from the original on September 20, 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2010. 
  23. ^ Fitzpatrick. Furthermore, both Cesc Fabregas and Pepe Reina also hail from the Masía bringing the total number of players in the team to nine, Richard (9 July 2010). "Spain's heart not winning over minds of Catalans". The Irish Times. Retrieved 30 July 2010.  (subscription required)
  24. ^ Hughes, Rob (9 July 2010). "Talent to Spare, but There’s Only One Trophy". New York Times. Retrieved 1 August 2010. 
  25. ^ "LFP – Barcelona Seasons". Liga de Fútbol Profesional Tables for other seasons may be obtained using the "Other searches" button. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 

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