HA NOI — Vietnamese aged between six and 14 will have an opportunity to learn football for free in a community programme with the same curriculum which two-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi followed at FC Barcelona's La Masia Academy.
The programme is organised by Barcelona, one of the world's most successful football clubs, with the co-operation of the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) and financial support of AVG Company. It aims at helping juniors approach football while scouting young Vietnamese talent, and is part of a larger plan to establish a Barcelona training school in Viet Nam.
It is expected to attract 200 to 300 people in two one-week courses under the instructions of the club's coaches at the Young Football Training Centre in Ha Noi in June. The Catalan coaches will also teach six to eight of the best local trainers so they can help instruct players during the course.
Each coach will be in charge of training 12 players. According to Marce Xavi, director of the programme, there is no problem with different levels.
"Each class will be divided into groups and every group will practise with its own exercises," he said at yesterday's press briefing.
Xavi also admitted that learning football in one week could not create a star, but it would be an important step for the club's participation in the country. "We desire a long-term commitment with the federation. I hope the programme will support the youngsters to pursue football in the future," he emphasised.
VFF Deputy Chairman Nguyen Lan Trung, director of the programme in Viet Nam, believed that Viet Nam's position in the football world had been gradually acknowledged and many training schools had been opened to educate younger generations.
"There are two training ways in the world: profession academies such as with Arsenal and Liverpool, and community training courses that clubs like Barcelona have done," he added.
Those interested in the programme are invited to register online at the website www.fcbarcelonavn.com or via the phone number (04)37342275, starting from February. — VNS