La Masia (The Farm) is set to take the world by storm (painting by Joan Miro)
Rafa Benitez left Liverpool without completing his legacy but the man who he leaves behind Pep Segura has been charged with bringing Barcelona’s philosophy to Merseyside.
Segura is the former technical director of La Masia, the feeder school for the Blaugrana where young players eat, breathe, and sleep tiki taka – the intricate pattern of rapid fire short passing that provides the underpinning to the Barca/ Spanish game. Another La Masia transplant Rodolfo Borrell, is Liverpool’s U18 coach which ensures that this change in Liverpool’s game comes from the bottom up.
Frank McParland, Liverpool academy’s director:
As MacParland admits, Liverpool’s “coaching set-up now is the same as at Barcelona”. In weekly meetings, Segura communicates to his staff what they should concentrate on during the next seven days’ sessions. Each age group is taught the same principles, trained according to the same model.
The world wakes up to tiki taka. As is with a successful system, the next steps are adoption and adaptation.
This is a huge development and Liverpool, as English as one can get, with its traditional “boot and run” might see Anfield a carpet of short, lateral passing and 1-0 scores in the near future. So be it- we see how effective it has proved. And it is not just Liverpool but other clubs that will feel the La Masia imprint. Sandro Rosell, Barca’s president has plans to open up 15 such academies all over the world.