squad | 2017-01-02
Sergi Milá discusses Barça's U14s incredible La Liga Promises campaign
The U14 squad coach values greatly how the La Liga Promises title was won
The Infantil B squad have clinched the La Liga Promises title in an impressive fashion after beating Atlético de Madrid in the final with a 6-1 scoresheet. This represents the sixth title for the Barça academy squads after having won it in 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2015. Albert Rogé from Sport journal sat down with the coach Sergi Milà to talk about the meaning of this title and how the Barça philosophy is instilled in the kids playing style.
To win the mini Clásico and to trash the rival in the final with the best football displayed in La Liga Promises, was it the ideal tournament?
Besides the victories, it’s important to value how our footballers played, how the matches were won. Everybody could watch the best version of this team and we appreciate this title dearly because how it was won.
What did you think when you clinched the championship?
Without a doubt, I thought about the 11 kids who couldn’t make the squad. It’s never easy for a coach to issue such a list but we didn’t had any other choice. They had supported us from home with text messages and phone calls. We are a team of 23 and everybody should feel involved in this success.
In the tournament you have played a total football branded by the Barça DNA, how do you do to achieve such a recognizable style in every player?
The academy teams have a clear idea of the playing style to follow and we know the type of players we have to recruit for this. We all are on the same track. The good results follow after many years of hard work.
Do you think that success such as the Infantil B title are because of the good work in the Football 7?
Absolutely. I’m happy that triumphs like this one are being linked to the Football 7 coaches. The play an essential role for the club’s correct functioning.
Recently, there has been plenty of criticism about the academy players not making it to the senior squad, what’s your opinion about this?
It’s not easy that every season academy players make it to the first team. I’m confident because the academy teams are always up to the task. There are excellent players and when Luis Enrique needs them, they are going to have great performances. I have no doubts about it.
In the player's development, do you use examples such as Iniesta, Rafinha or Aleñá so they can realize their dreams can come true?
Of course. We have the blessing to have many examples. Puyol and Xavi are also role models. Sometimes, we explain to them the situations they have gone through so they see them like this. It’s important that they learn from the best Barcelona footballers.
Some of the senior players have used the social media to follow the tournament and congratulate you for the title, is it a pride for you?
We were very excited with the messages from the senior squad members and the president Josep María Bartomeu. It’s amazing that the players who come from the academy ranks appreciate moments like the one lived in Tenerife. It’s always a pride when the Barça academy is praised.
What message would you send to those fans who are worried about La Masia’s future?
The fans should be calm. We are working very well, in the trainings and in the matches. There are players with great quality who will make it to the first team. That’s for sure.
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WRITTEN BY: Jaime Ibarra
Jaime is a chemical engineer from Venezuela who is passionate about football and Barça. He loves the club’s history and he has been an unconditional fan since Ronaldo “The Phenomenon” amazed the world with the Blaugrana colors.