This week, the IMG Academy soccer program boys' program traveled to Spain to train with the world's top club â FC Barcelona. IMG Academy soccer program senior captain Gabriel Nunez has dispatched these reports.
U-18 Academy League
Monday, Feb. 6
Today was the day that everything started for us. We all woke up at around 6 30 and went to our study hall at 7. After our study hall we ate breakfast and at around 9 30 we left to the training field. Training was amazing with the Barcelona coaching staff, we did a lot of technical work and small-sided games. After our training, we returned to our hotel and prepared for our 10 p.m. game. It was freezing cold outside but it seemed that it didn't affect us at all. We looked very good on the field and in 30 minutes, we got 4 goals. Pablo Aguilar had the first goal, then Adrian Bicknell scored twice and Marlon Hairston got the 4th goal. It was a solid performace for us but there is still a range of improvement and we need to keep working hard to finish great.
Today was the second day, we trained at the Barca facilities again, and the training was very good. We finished training and came back to the hotel and prepared for the 7 oclock match. We rested the whole day. We went to the same stadium as the day before. The game started and we dominated from minute one. At 20 minutes, the game was already 4-0. The game ended 10-0 from a great performance. Adrian Bicknell had 2 goals, Pablo Aguilar 2 goals, Yves Doue 1, Marlon Hairston 3 and Gabriel Nunez 2 goals.
This was the toughest game until this point. The team played very physical and they ran a lot, but we managed to win 3-0 with goals from Adrian Bicknell, Pablo Aguilar and Marlon Hairston. Another very good performance.
Playing the 4th game in a row, the team was exhausted. We went to practice and had a very good last practice at the Barca facilities and then we came back to the hotel to play the hardest match against Sant Andreu, a team that plays against the youth team of Barcelona. We knew it was going to have a hard match. The game was very level but we got the win 2-0. Another very good performance from the team. Gabriel Nunez scored the 2 goals.
We arrived at our hotel around 11. Everyone was really tired from the long trip we had. When we got to our hotel and got our rooms, we had a few hours to relax. Most people slept during that time. The hotel is beautiful, it's a 4 star hotel with a dining room and a pool. The food is delicious, we had some chicken and pasta, along with fruit and salad. That night we got to go to Barcelona's stadium and watch them play. The game was amazing to watch, the final score was 2 to 1 with Barcelona winning. It was a fun night and a great start to our trip.
We woke up nice and early today at 8 for breakfast, which start at 8:30. Then we left to go on a tour around Barcelona's home stadium. It was really cool to see where some great players, like Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta, played and put on their jerseys. It was incredible to see how many tournaments Barcelona has won over the years. We ended the day with a tour around the city of Barcelona. We saw some great architecturally designed buildings and some remarkable churches. After that we went back to our hotel and went to bed.
Many of us had to wake up even early today for study hall to complete our homework. It started at 7 and we kept working until 8:30. When we finally finished we got went to go get breakfast. Afterword's we left for our training session at Barcelona's training field. Barcelona coaches coached us and everyone had a great time. It was also a great experience and we learned a lot from the Barcelona coaches. That night we had a scrimmage against a team from Barcelona. We won 8 to 1 and played really well.
Study hall started again at 7 in the morning. We ate breakfast again and then went off to training, just like yesterday. It was another great training session with the Barcelona coaches. Barcelona's training ground is astonishing and its incredible to play on the same fields that Barcelona's youth plays on. We had another game that night against a different team from Barcelona. It was a close match and a hard fought game. The other team played really well, but so did we and we ended up winning 1 to 0. It was a great game and even better to get another win.