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Nota de Prensa

JUE 07.09.2023 | Nota de Prensa

LALIGA Academy Madrid gets underway with twice as many players and now with its first women’s youth team

The programme opened its doors to receive the almost 80 players who Will live at the ESC LALIGA & NBA complex during the 23/24 season.

Nota de Prensa

JUE 07.09.2023

LALIGA Academy Madrid, the organisation’s long-term sporting and academic programme at the ESC LALIGA & NBA Centre, has begun its second year of activity by doubling the number of players and creating its first girls’ team. In total, almost 80 players will live onsite at the complex until June 2024, while studying at an international school, training using the LALIGA Methodology and with some of the best youth football coaches around.

The consolidation of the programme can be seen in the numbers: the 36 footballers in the first intake have doubled to become almost 80 this time. Furthermore, there has also been an increase in diversity: last season 24 nationalities were represented and in 2023/24 youngsters from more than 40 countries will be housed in the complex, contributing to a rich environment of cultural exchange.

But the key development this year is the creation of a girls’ team, which will include 18 players from countries such as India, South Africa, Chile, Brazil and Japan. The female team has come into being largely thanks to funding from LALIGA and EA SPORTS, forming part of EA SPORTS’ FC FUTURES initiative to drive community football worldwide, and which has handed out some 20 full-season scholarships to female players, selected through trials, as well as scouting of international under-17 competitions.

Francisco Javier Hernández, Head of LALIGA Academy, said: "We are delighted with the success of the LALIGA Academy programmes; this year we will have double the teams and double the players compared to last, which shows that many athletes see this programme as the best opportunity for their personal and sporting development. The fact we can open a women’s team is also a milestone for the programme, which we hope will continue to help encourage the growth of girls’ football worldwide”.

Juan Florit, Head of LALIGA’s Football Projects, highlighted: “All the coaches at LALIGA Academy have been picked and trained for this project through an exhaustive and rigorous process. From day one, the four teams will train using LALIGA Methodology, whose guiding lines and fundamental principles are representative of the models used by the academies of LALIGA EA SPORTS and LALIGA HYPERMOTION clubs, world leaders in their field. Pillars such as the holistic development of the player, individual performance improvement and optimisation, cognitive ability and game understanding, are the focus of the training process, led in each team by a coach, an assistant coach, a fitness coach, a goalkeeping coach and an analyst; all this with the ultimate goal of offering players all the tools necessary to realise their potential, both on and off the pitch.” 

 LALIGA Academy: new era, new name

The initiative to give an overall boost to LALIGA youth football, which began in 2021 under the name LALIGA Grassroots, will be known from this 23/24 season onwards as LALIGA Academy, in line with the organisation’s rebranding. The umbrella of the project covers short and long-term programmes at the ESC LALIGA & NBA Centre in Madrid, along with all of those carried out worldwide. In total, we are talking about more than 650 projects in more than 50 countries to date. So far, more than 200,000 players have passed through these programmes, while 22,000 local coaches have also received training.

The short-term programmes include Camps, sporting development programmes which take place around the world in countries such as Japan, South Africa, USA, Peru and Kenya; and Tryouts, talent trials which have been carried out in countries including Mexico, UAE (United Arab Emirates), the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The LALIGA Academy also operates programmes targeted at clubs or national teams who want to have an intensive training period in Spain.

The long-term programmes are Schools, which are programmes integrated into schools or educational centres and have a social focus, such as in India, Brazil, Hong Kong and Taiwan; and Academy, which gives name to the initiative and encompasses 8 academies worldwide, in countries such as China, USA (New York, Vermont, Dallas) and UAE, as well as LALIGA Academy Madrid, the nerve centre of the network which keeps the rest in sync. LALIGA Academy Madrid was inaugurated in September 2022 and housed in its ESC LALIGA & NBA Centre facilities some 36 players from 24 countries.

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