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President Joan Laporta, together with the president of Kyrgyzstan, Sadyr Zhaparov, and the president of Jalgroup Asia, Aibek Alybaev, opened on Tuesday a Barça Academy in the city of Jalal-Abad. The event was also attended by the Barça Legends players who will be meeting a Legends of Asia XI in Kyrgyzstan and was the final item on the official agenda for the day for the blaugranes during their trip to the Central Asian nation.
One of the main events of the visit was the opening of a Barça Academy in Jalal-Abad, the first of its kind not just in Kyrgyzstan but all of Central Asia. After the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon and speeches from president Laporta, the president of Kyrgyzstan, Sadyr Zhaparov, and the president of Jalgroup Asia, Aibek Alybaev, the Club’s partner in the project, the three men took a trip around the facility where local children will be able to learn to play football the Barça way.
During the visit an impromptu game took place between ‘Team Rivaldo’ and ‘Team Puyol’ with players from the Academy which will officially begin its activities next week and as the other 27 Barça Academies around the world, the idea is to teach young people the footballing philosophy and methodology that the youth teams at FC Barcelona follow and that is known all over the world.
Once the visit was over the Barça Legends players and their coach Albert ‘Chapi’ Ferrer, moved on to the Kurmanbek Stadium for a training session ahead of Wednesday match which was watched by some 5,000 fans.
The session started with a group around 40 children, all under the age of 10, in two groups playing a match against three players from the Legends in each group. A group of local media figures also took part in the warm up before the squad than trained alone in a 45 minute period.
In the morning the blaugrana party were welcomed at the official residence of the president Sadyr Zhaparov. Barça president Joan Laporta presented the nation’s leader with a Barça shirt bearing his names and the event concluded with a photo session alongside the Barça Legends players before the squad moved on to Jalal-Abad for the opening of the Barça Academy.
Aside from the game between Barça Legends and a Legends of Asia Xi at the Dolon Omurzakov Stadium (8pm local time, 4pm CEST), Wednesday’s activity includes the placing of a time capsule, a symbolic act to mark the beginning of the construction of a second Barça Academy in the country, this time in the capital Bishkek. The event will also see president Zhaparaov and the president of Jalgroup Asia, Aibek Alybaev, president. After the event in the capital the blaugrana party will take part in the placing of a time capsule by the country’s president in the town of Orok to mark the start of the construction of a new Kyrgyzstan National Stadium.