Barcelona to set up football school in India

October 19th, 2011 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Arsenal New Delhi, Oct 19 (IANS) After Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Bayern Munich, now the world’s best football club Barcelona has come calling to India to set up its first training school with Delhi-based Conscient Football.

Barcelona’s football nursery FCBEscoles will be conducting camps at the Heritage School in Gurgaon to train kids in the age-group of 6-14. Conscient Football is a part of the Conscient Group, which owns the Heritage Schools in the NCR region.

FCBscoles director Xevi Marce said the club will be providing top coaches from Nou Cup to run the camps here and they plan to train 10,000 children in the next three years.

“We don’t promise to create a Messi here, we will not promise anything that we are not sure of. For us this is a social project and we want to support India. We have to go step by step,” the Spaniard said.

Xevi said the camp will be no different from the ones that are held in Barcelona. “At the camp the youngsters will be undergoing all the programmes that are held at Nou Camp. We will also bring 4-5 coaches who would not only train the young footballers, but also Indian coaches,” he said.

Asked about the trainees’ chances to turn professional, Xevi said: “Even at La Masia (Barca’s youth development centre) we can’t guarantee how many boys can turn professional. Lot of factors influence a player to turn professional. Only time will tell how many professional players we can create from these camps,” he said.

Conscient Football’s director Anu Jain said: “In the first year the camp will be restricted only to the NCR and in the second year we will take it to the other metros. In the third year we will take it to the A level cities. We are also yet to finalise how much parents have to shell out for the camp but we will surely reserve some seats from the talented students.”

Conscient Football has signed a three-year MOU with the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The Heritage School in Gurgaon also served as the training base for AIFF-run Indian Arrows and the India under-16 team.

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