It's many a Danish kid's dream to follow in the footsteps of legendary countryman Michael Laudrup and suit up for mighty FC Barcelona. In a few months' time, that dream could move that little bit closer to reality.
FC Barcelona will open its very first year-round Scandinavian academy in August this year when the Spanish football giant launches its FCBEscola Copenhagen in Topdanmark Hallen in the capital's western suburb of Ballerup.
”I am very proud to welcome the world's biggest football club FC Barcelona to Ballerup Municipality,” Jesper Würtzen, the mayor of Ballerup, said. ”The co-operation has become a reality thanks to the hard work by the local football community and we want to support that.”
”There is no doubt that Barcelona has chosen Ballerup because of our great branding value and the decision will rub off on our business community. It's a really good day and a huge welcome to Barcelona in Ballerup.”
Xevi Marce, the head of the club's academy program FCBescola, looks forward to the results that the academy in Ballerup will produce.
”For four years FCBEscola has run summer football schools in Denmark, where many boys and girls have benefited from the method and values that FC Barcelona stands for,” Marce said.
”Looking at the success and acceptance that FCBEscola has achieved, we are very pleased to announce the opening of the first official FCBEscola academy in Denmark and Scandinavia.”
The Danish former Barcelona player and European Footballer of the Year Allan Simonsen will be the ambassador to the FCBEscola Copenhagen academy.
– FCBEscola Copenhagen is for boys and girls aged 6-16
– On May 9-10, five FC Barcelona coaches will be in Denmark to run the trials for the boys and girls looking to get into the academy. Other trials will be held at summer camps in Ballerup, Odense, Aarhus and Billund
– A professional Barcelona coach will also move to Ballerup full-time and educate eight to ten Danish coaches in FC Barcelona's training concepts
– FCBEscola Copenhagen will work closely with Ballerup Municipality and local football clubs in the area
– The children will train two to three times a week and play games every Saturday