A look into La Masia goalkeeper training

Goalkeepers during training / MUNTATGE FCB
The 28 stoppers in the club’s academy follow a particular type of tutelage in order to learn the Barça philosophy

It isn’t easy to be a goalkeeper. You are always under pressure. It’s even harder to be an FC Barcelona goalkeeper, as this report shows. There are 28 young goalies in the Barça academy, from 16 year old Rubén Sánchez to 8 year old Pau Fernández, all of whom work under Ricard Segarra, the goalkeeping coordinator at FC Barcelona, and his team of helpers made up of Xavi Ferrando, Carles Gil and Ferran Montijano.

Every Tuesday, Gil and Montijano hold a meeting in the video room with the 18 seven-a-side keepers, where they analyse how the weekend’s games went – whether they used their feet well, how good they were in the air, how they dealt with set pieces and whether they made any mistakes. Such group therapy is felt to be good for the players and helps them to improve.


Ricard Segarra and his teams have devised a number of special exercises that work on an aspect that makes Masia goalkeepers so different: playing with their feet. This report shows just how much pressure the Barça goalies are expected to deal with and how they cope with one of the most difficult periods in their whole development – the transition from the 7-a-side to 11-a-side game.

In their first year at U14 level, goalkeepers face all kinds of new challenges. They have to deal with a bigger ball, a bigger pitch and bigger goals, and aerial play suddenly becomes a much more important aspect of what they do, as well as the need to cover their defenders.

“Every stage is different” says Ricard Segarra. “Both in terms of training and the instructions we give them. The only common factor is what forms part of our unique DNA, playing with their feet. From very young, they already know that the goalie is just one further player involved in getting the ball into play and making the play seamless.”