Thursday, June 25, 2009

What is La Masia?

La Masia is where Messi developed into the player he is today.

La Masia, named for the 300-year-old stone farmhouse where it is based, is Barça's premier soccercentric academy. Players train almost exclusively with the ball. Coaches teach system fundamentals like placement and space, and when to dribble and when to pass. Small-field drills, with 11 players facing off in 17x14-yard spaces, help develop vision, reflexes and precision. "Messi's team would win in five minutes," says Barça assistant and former juniors coach Tito Vilanova. "It was too easy."

From ESPN,