Nigeria will soon be home to the next generation of talented footballers like Xavi and Iniesta as Barcelona prepares for the grand opening of their most significant football Academy in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s not clear why Barcelona chose Nigeria of all African countries to set up such an establishment, but it’s evident that Lagos was pretty convenient for everyone. Being the largest city in Africa, Lagos will be home to a one of a kind Barcelona-sponsored football conservatoire, to be named as the FCBE Scola Lagos.
According to BBC, the organizers of the initiative have temporarily based the academy in the suburbs of Nigeria’s capital city (Lagos) at the Teslim Balogun Stadium Complex. The academy is targeting to train promising young lads aged between 5 and 18, to become the next Messis. The students however will be paying school fees as usual, amounting to at least $600 a year, equivalent to around Kshs. 61,000.
It’s not clear whether the Academy will be hosting the thousands of interested young footballers outside Nigeria, although many parents outside Naija have shown some interest in wanting their children to be there. If this Lagos-based football academy opens up for the rest of Africa, this will be a profitable affair in terms of revenue for Nigeria. The students will be training at least once a week and there’s a hope that those who indicate exemplary performance will be transferred to Barcelona’s popular La Masia Academy in Spain.
The current location of this football academy in Lagos has since been heavily branded so as to market Barcelona, as well as the team’s similar projects in Africa. As you visit the Teslim Balogun Stadium, you’ll be met with the large posters of Barcelona stars like Lionel Messi, Neymar, Suarez and Andres Iniesta. Congratulations Naija, give us a Messi!