FC Barcelona are to set up its maiden Africa Football Academy in Lagos.
The Club’s director of Business, Pau Vilanovai Vila-Abadal, made this disclosure during a visit to the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday.
Speaking at the visit, Vila-Abadal said the Catalan club decided to establish the Academy in Lagos, due to the impressive population of the South Western State, and a bid to share the philosophy of the team with the state.
A member of the delegation, Oscar Grau, the Worldwide Director of Barcelona Academy, who further spoke, said it was indeed a big honour for the club to establish its academy in Lagos as many of the big names in the team, such as Lionel messi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets, started from such academy.
He said: said “it was indeed a big honour for the club to establish its Academy in Lagos, as many of the big names in the team started from such Academy”.
Receiving the delegation, governor Ambode described the visit as historic, adding that it is exciting that this developmental initiative is coming just after Lagos state successfully hosted the International Marathon.
The governor said: “This visit by FC Barcelona is coming at a point where I believe strongly that we have nothing else to say than to say we are committed into this partnership because we know the partnership will give us the first FCBEscola in Africa.
“I was made to understand that this is the first of its kind in Africa and so Lagos is priding itself as a major receptor of the next academy to be established in Africa.”
“I know that this will create a very good platform for youth development, grassroots empowerment and also for the value of sportsmanship. We share the same values with FC Barcelona which are respect, courage, humility, social integration and community service.
“So, I just want to say that you have our blessing; you have our go ahead. Whatever it is that we need to do to ensure that this project take off as quick as possible as a government, we are hundred percent ready to support you in the interest of all of us,” the Governor added.
According to the team from Spain, the academy that would be built in Lagos would be equivalent to their world-class La Masia in Spain.