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FC Barcelona to open football school in Qingdao

( Xinhua )

Updated: 2015-10-28

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BARCELONA, Oct. 23-- FC Barcelona will open a football school in Qingdao, China, the club announced at a press conference on Friday.

The FCBEscola Qingdao Huanghai will be born thanks to the collaboration between FC Barcelona and Huanghai Pharmaceutical, one of the main pharmaceutical companies of China.

At the press conference, held at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, the First vice president of FC Barcelona Jordi Cardoner, highlighted that the school enables Barca to take root in China, creating empathy with the citizens.

Chinese children will have the opportunity to train with the same system as FC Barcelona players, such as Messi, he said, highlighting that it is not only a football exchange but also a cultural exchange.

The schools, FCBEscola, are part of the Barca's DNA, he said, emphasizing what this DNA is about the values of effort, humility, teamwork and ambition. He also celebrated the fact that football was included as a subject in the curricula in primary and secondary schools in China.

FC Barcelona has a school in Wuhan, China, and in other places around the world where children have the opportunity to be taught by coaches previously selected by FC Barcelona.

Oscar Grau, director of FCBEscoles, introduced the city of Qingdao and explained that the project will be carried out in two phases. In the beginning of the project, they will work with 504 children, split into two: 288 at the Branch School and 216 at the Laoshan School.

The president of the Qingdao Huanghai Pharmaceutical Co., Wang Zekai highlighted the similarities between Qingdao and Barcelona, two port cities with a football tradition.

"I am a Barca's fan from a long time ago, so I am honored for this collaboration." He highlighted the importance of the football training but also the values and the introduction of the Barca spirit.

"The implementation is not business, it is a way for Barca to take root socially and in sporting terms," he said, adding that "we should be able to transmit Barca's DNA, creating places for fans".

"People belonging to the school will probably be linked to football for the rest of their lives," he pointed out.

FC Barcelona will have 17 international schools, including FCBEscola Qingdao Huanghai, in more than 50 countries in the five continents, with more than 30,000 children taking part in the schools' activities.