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Football school where Messi honed his skills is now in India

sports Updated: Dec 19, 2012 19:43 IST
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FCBescola, the school that taught the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas the basics of football, will kick-start in India in April 2013, it was announced on Wednesday.

Having organised clinics almost all over India under the supervision of Antonio Claveria, Technical Director -FCBEscola India, FC Barcelona and Conscient Football will now start their "most ambitious project" as the Catalan club termed it, with a capacity to train a total of 300 kids in the age group of 6-16 years.

"India is our most ambitious project, given the growing interest of football in the country. We have seen great talent while conducting FCB camps across the country. The Escola will certainly bring the much required impetus to grassroots training in India," Claveria said on Wednesday.

This is to ensure that aspiring Indian footballers get to train the Barca way within the next few months.

The Escola (school) will operate out of two centres, with The Heritage School, Gurgaon as the main centre and IOS Maidan, Centre of Sports Excellence at Shivaji College, Delhi as a satellite centre.

India will be just the seventh country outside Barcelona to have a permanent Escola.

FCBEscola is the official football school of Barcelona. The school operates with an intensive program that runs year round, in which the players train twice a week and play matches once every week.

Once a player is selected to the Escola he can graduate to the next year based on performance and hence goes through a continuous development program under the watchful eyes of Escola coaches.