There was a time when La Masia was the talk of football.
Barcelona’s famous academy was responsible for creating arguably the greatest club side ever seen.
Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and more were simply unstoppable and they all came through the ranks at Barca.
But in recent years, barely any players have broken into the first-team from La Masia.
Sergi Roberto is perhaps the last academy player to do so, while Riqui Puig is the current hope of the Blaugrana’s youth.
- Nani looks in ridiculous shape at 32
- Spurs close to signing Ndombele
- Man City have most valuable squad
So why has it declined so rapidly? Well, a report from journalist Xavi Torres details all the issues within La Masia.
His report is explained in this long thread HERE, but we’ve summarised the key points below.
Firstly, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s ‘Masia 360’ strategy has been a spectacular failure.
The aim was to put more money aside to make coaches and staff stay, add psychological help, advance academic studies and much more.
But to put it simply, Bartomeu put the wrong people in charge and the whole idea has been a disaster, costing the club a serious amount of money.
As for the residency at the club, a number of rooms that were designed to house footballers have been turned into offices.
And as for the 48 players who still currently live in La Masia, most of those are either loanees or reserves, not the sought-after talents that have to move away from their families – like Messi did all those years ago.
And just to make things even worse, the food served at the academy does not meet the lowest nutritional standard.
The company, Sodexo, even serves this below-par food to the Barcelona B team!
Finally, new coaches have been put in charge without any experience of the Blaugrana and practically zero understanding of the ‘Barca DNA’.
So there you have it, one of the world’s most famous academies is slowly dying and it’s going to take a number of years to stop the rot.
Don’t be expecting to see any La Masia players breaking into the first-team anytime soon…