5. ORIOL TORT
Bringing Xavi, Guardiola and Iniesta to the club is on it’s own
enough to earn the fifth position in this count down.
“Oriol Tort represents that anonymous person who nevertheless
is crucial to all clubs.” – Vincent Del Bosque
Barcelona acknowledge Oriol Tort greatly and have even
recently named their new La Masia building after him ‘Centre
Formació Oriol Tort’ (The Oriol Tort Training Centre).
Tort was a coach to many of the graduates of La Masia and was
later tasked to co-ordinate La Masia itself.
“Oriol Tort was a wise man. There aren’t any more left like him.
He would come in to the club and work for hours until he had
done what he needed to. Because of people like him we are
where we are today” – Pep Guardiola
4. CARLES REXACH
Xavi speaks often about Rexach shouting ‘a mig toc’ (half a touch) to speed up the
tempo in Rondos.
Rexach played for Barcelona for 22 years and then worked as a scout, coach or
manager (either as a permanent choice or as a caretaker manager) for Barcelona for
over 20 more years.
Rexach is also credited as the man responsible for ‘finding Leo Messi’
“The reason why he arrived at Barca for nothing is because of Rexach. The discovery
of the player is just as commendable as his promotion to the first team. (Masfurroll
Rexach worked closely with Johan Cruyff to install many of the values now in place:
“When Cruyff and I arrived to take over at Barca, we decided to install the football
which inspired us. The football of Rinus Michels. Make no mistake – it cost us to
3. PEP GUARDIOLA
Pep Guardiola has become the world’s most well-known coach since retiring as a
player. As a player Guardiola came through Barcelona’s youth academy (La Masia)
and went on to captain Barcelona to win many trophies.
As a big advocate of the La Masia production line Guardiola once told a young
and impressive Xavi:
"You're going to retire me, but Iniesta’s going to retire us all.“
As manager of Barcelona saw a significant improvement in every area of their
game, smashing the season goals record set by Cruyff during his first five seasons
(2.71 goals per game beating 2.2 goals per game), while conceding just 0.72 goals
per game (again beating Cruyff’s first five season record of 0.93).
Guardiola won 14 of the 19 possible titles between August 2008 and May 2012 as
head coach of Barcelona.
2. JOHAN CRUYFF
A former student of Rinus Michels (the father of total football and
narrowly missing out on this list himself) who took the idea further than
anyone else has been able to do in football history as a player and then a
“The idea is to dominate the game with the ball”
As head coach of Barcelona (1988-1996), Johan Cruyff introduced many
graduates from the famous La Masia into the first team (including Pep
Guardiola). Cruyff also played the largest role in all of those involved
(alongside Oriol Tort) in bringing La Masia to life to what it has become
today, producing many of the world’s greatest players.
1. LAUREANO RUIZ
Ruiz may be little known outside of Barcelona and Spain circles but is
widely credited for the creation of the Barcelona methodology used
every day today. Ruiz’s book ‘The True Method’ revealed he designed
the rondo methodology from analytical work he carried out on the
great Hungarian team of the 1950’s:
“I started with two on two plus a wildcard in the middle that went
with the ones that had the ball, to find triangulations, then I
expanded and the rondo was born” (Pallas 2011)
Kieran Smith (a former AD Alcorcon coach) put it best:
“Ruiz planted the seed
Cruyff nurtured the idea
Guardiola reaped the rewards”
Ruiz is famed for removing the sign at the old La Masia that
previously read: “Turn around if you are here to offer a Juvenil player
that is shorter than 1.80m”
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Feature articles related to this video:
‘THE STRUCTURE OF BARCELONA’S YOUTH ACADEMY HOUR BY HOUR’ from the book ‘Coaching the Tiki-Taka Style of Play’ written by
Jed C. Davies (published by www.soccertutor.com). Available from Wednesday 18th of November 2015
THE FOOTBALL RONDOS SERIES – Published on www.inspire.football every Thursday. Available from Thursday 19th of November 2015
RONDOS WEBINAR – By Kieran Smith published by www.inspire.football from the end of November 2015