Definition of La Masia

What is 'La Masia' in the world of football?

La Masia is the famous Barcelona FC youth academy, originally located near the Camp Nou Stadium.

La Masia in Catalan means "The Farmhouse".

La Masia technically does not exist any more, as the club's training facilities have been moved out of the city to accommodate for the large number of young players living there. Nevertheless, the Barcelona's youth program is still referred to as 'La Masia'.

La Masia was established in 1979. The idea for the youth academy came from the ex-Barca star, Johan Cruyff, who attended a similar program at his native club Ajax in Amsterdam.

The brightest day for La Masia came in 2010, when all three finalists for the Ballon d'Or - Best Player of the Year award - were the academy graduates: Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez.