Barcelona opens new academy for youth players



BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona has risen to the top of European soccer on the strength of its highly productive academy.

Now, it’s looking to expand its stock of homegrown talent through a new school to develop even more young players.

The new facility was presented to the media on Friday and has the name of the Catalan club’s emblematic old residence, La Masia. But by increasing its capacity from 60 to 83 players, Barca hopes to produce more stars such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas.

Jordi Moix, Barcelona’s economic and strategy director, told The Associated Press that “we have visited several facilities of our competitors … and we can say this is one of the best facilities now in the market.”