Spanish football giants FC Barcelona on Thursday said that they want to scout talent at the grassroot level in India and will soon hold training camps across the country.
The first overseas club to start such a programme in Chandigarh, Barcelona said they will start FCBEscola coaching camps in India, to hunt talent which will be then groomed at the club's football academy, which is likely to be set up in Haryana by March-April next year with partnership of Conscient Football.
The camps, open for age groups between 5-15 years, will be held from December 15 to January 26 in Chandigarh, Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, Pune under the supervision of Antoni Claveria, the technical director of FCBEscola India.
"We have found that there is good talent available in India and they have the potential to become the stars of future. We have shortlisted potential participants from the earlier camps and soon we will be finalising the students who are going to be part of football academy," Claveria said.
Director of Conscient Football, Anu Jain, said: "We are looking for talent, trying to spot them and hone their skill. We will be helping in creating footballers of tomorrow whose skill and talent will be at par with any international football stars."
The director of the "grassroots development organisation for football" informed that the fees for one batch of training are Rs 13,500, which includes the kit and other gear. She, however, assured that money will not come in the way of those promising talent who cannot afford.
"If we find there is a talent from economically weaker section, then surely we will support him," she said.
"This is one of the most ambitious projects for FCBescola worldwide. We hope to train 12,000 young footballers in the coming three years and with this initiative we will provide the depth and the quality needed to develop coaches and players from a very young age," she said, adding they want to send a message that "we are here for long-term".
Antoni said that FC Barcelona follows the same "successful youth development methodology that is globally recognised for its ability to identify, groom and nurture talent such as Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi Hernandez, Gerad Pique, among others".