Top of the Top: Coach of FC Barcelona U11-U12 gives the interview to

Top of the Top: Coach of U11-U12 FC Barcelona gives the interview to

In the interview you will find the answers to the questions:

What are the criteria of choosing young football player for the team of FC Barcelona?

What are FC Barcelona’s training methods?

How many trainings does U12 first team have during the week?

and many other interesting things. It is a must have lecture.




Please tell me something about yourself?


My name is Pau Moral. I am 31 years old. I possess 16 years’ experience in training football and 4 for FC Barcelona as the head coach of U11 and assistant coach of U12. I study psychology and I have qualifications of a national coach.

Can you please tell me how is the selection of young footballers done in FC Barcelona?

The selection of young players (U12) is made through searching talents in Catalonia (so called scouting). Catalonia has good clubs and we search in the neighbourhood. In a later stage we search also outside of Catalonia.

What are your (FC Barcelona) training methods?

FCB has the specific methodology and we follow the same methodology for all age categories no matter if it is 11 years’ old or 18 years’ old player. If you see a first team training session and you also see one at under 12 besides the obvious difference in the workload the football concept is the same. The technical work is the same.

We train with high intensity and the rythm. We work on good technique, control of the ball, good passing, on the speed of execution, on the vision of game. Passing this is something important to us and we work with the players in this respect from a young age so that they become masters in this. We focus on fast-paced football. Our aim is to teach the players to understand how to get good position before the ball gets to them. The moves and decisions have to be quick with the ball.

What is the most important skill to learn at the early stage?

In the first stage of learning football the most important thing is to teach how to control the ball well, to be able to run with the ball fast, and to think and execute passes very quickly.

What are the criteria of choosing young football player for the team of FC Barcelona?

The player who has technical skills and reads the game is the priority to us. These are the most imporant factors when choosing a player. Apart from these FC Barcelona player has to be ambitious, want more, learn more, and not simply settle.

How many trainings does U12 first team have during the week?

3 times a week for 1,5 hours + 60 minute game (la liga).

How do you in FC Barcelona combine school and football education?

From the age of 13 the players join the in-house academy. They are separeted from the family. La Masia becomes all for them in this moment: their home and their family. Before U13 the players live with their families, go to their schools and travel to trainings three times a week after school. Players live around 90 minute of drive. They drive from school to the academy by taxi provided by the academy. We bring a tutuor as a reference point in the player’s path from when he joins the club until he leaves.

Do you evaluate players?

Players leave and the new ones join. It is done every year. The evaluation. If you do not reach required level you have to leave.

Do you train on the artificial or natural grass? Do you play in the gym (futsal)?

We have natural and artificial grass, but we always train outside and on artificial grass. When the players are older we play in natural grass and outside too.

How about mental skills? Is there any specialist in FC Barcelona Academy who works with the children in this field?

There are numer of psyhologists who focus on guiding young players and the teams. We try to ensure there are no personal situations foregotten.

From your observation how many football players that start in FC Barcelona Academy have a chance to become professional football players?

The model of FC Barcelona is that 50% of the senior first team should be from La Masia and 35% the best players from Spain and Europe and 15% the best outside Europe world players. The main goal of Barca Academy is to prepare the players for the first team. The most famous who got to the top are: Leo Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi.

What would you advice talented young footballers?

I would refer to the quote of Jordi Roura the head of youth football Barcelona: „The boys think that by coming to Barcelona they’re taking part in 100 m sprint. What they are really doing is running the marathon. People often think it is about talent, physical prowess or understanding of the game. That’s partially true, but you also have values, personality, resilience, and overcoming difficulties. It takes hard work from day-to-day and that goes far beyond the standard hours of training.“

I would add from my side: You have to try and go and fight for your dream but to be able to do it you must have a strong base.

What would you advise their parents?

You always have to have plan B but remember sport is one of the best ways to educate your child.

Would you like to add something important that has not been discussed?

In Barca the values are the most important:

  • Humility.
  • Ability to listen.
  • Willingness to improve.
  • Respect for teamates, the club, a model of playing the game.

These should be the basements of each football-teaching organization.