Laporta hails Barcelona youth system | inside World Soccer

Laporta hails Barcelona youth system

Friday, November 14, 2008

Barcelona president Joan Laporta claims his club’s unparalleled youth system is currently the best in the world.

The president yesterday boasted about the current crop of stars they have produced down the years in a special squad presentation at the new Sant Joan Despí sports city.

He said: "We have the best youth system and the best facilities for young players in the world and I am very proud of the club’s youth policies.

"More than fifty percent of our current first team is formed by home-grown players.

"We are used as a reference by the rest of the football community and clubs around the world pay attention to how we operate the cantera."

Laporta then thanked José Ramón Alexanko for his contributions with the youth academy and Luis Enrique for his work as coach of Barcelona B team.

The youth academy, or known as La Masía, established in 1979 and located next to the Camp Nou Stadium.

They have a total of approximately 260 youth players learning their trade here, with 90 percent of them are Spanish and more than 50 percent Catalans.

Along with emerging players such as Sergio Busquets, Víctor Sánchez and Pedro, the academy have also exported a number of young sensations abroad, most notably Cesc Fàbregas and Fran Mérida at Arsenal and Iago Falqué at Juventus.

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