By Rebecca Ejifoma
Following the establishment of the FCBescola Football Academy in Lagos State, the technical adviser of popular Spanish club Barcelona, Bernat Villa, has suggested that if Nigerian players could improve on their collective skills and be with the ball at all times with the right methodology then they could win World Cup someday.
He said this during one of the trainings with the players of the FCBescola Football Academy at the Teslim Balogun Stadium Surulere, Lagos. “He described the football here in Africa as “so physique – so individual”.
The players are good in individual capacities but not collective. We give a lot of importance to all these things. We are going to watch both collective and tactical aspects. They have to improve on how to be on the field always with the ball and playing with the ball – the basic things people here do not do.”
Villa stated further that the difference between football in Barcelona and Nigeria was that they didn’t do anything without the ball. “Whether physical exercise or any training, we are always with the ball. That is what we are going to do here. So, these students can grow and play with the right methods for their local teams and national too.”
“In Barcelona, we work not just to create a good player but also good people, infusing into players respect for team mates and for coaches, fellowships and ambition.
He continued: “We are also very particular about the image of our players. We teach them to take their bath before and after training. We have Lamacia in Barcelona, where players study. We may not do it this year but next year, we could send some people to go and study in our facilities.”
Meanwhile, the Technical Adviser said there is no professional league here in Nigeria. “Before I left Barcelona, I surfed the internet about Nigerian football. I realised that there is no professional league here. We know that the infrastructure of football in Nigeria is not big. So, my first impression was, ‘Ok, we are going to have a lot of work to do. First, we shall teach the kids our way of training, then if possible, introduce a structure to create a better league here in Nigeria and help, perhaps, the federation of Nigeria or institutions to create the league.”
Meanwhile, on the way to achieve good team work in Nigerian football and possibly winning the World Cup, he suggested that the players must train with the ball at all times, whether exercise or not, and improve on their collective skills.
The academy in Lagos is the first FCBescola in Sub-Sahara Africa, among the 25 in the world. And it is set to admit students between ages six and 18 into the academy annually.