The DLSU Green Booters will fly to Spain this summer as the squad has been cordially invited to a three-week, all-expense paid training session at Real Madrid’s Castilla and FC Barcelona’s La Masia—two of the world’s most highly-touted football training centres.
With world-renowned players such as Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, Iker Casillas, Raul Gonzales and Juan Mata bannering the long list of alumni from both centers, the Green Booters will be exposed to world class training drills that will hopefully aid them in finally reclaiming the UAAP championship.
Coach Hans Smit delightedly confirmed this news. He shares, “I was shocked when I received letters from my house. It came from both Barcelona and Real Madrid’s Youth System. I thought it was just a prank made by some kid but when I verified it with the contacts attached to the letters, I was stunned.
“I asked them why of all teams it had to be us, then they said that the team has a lot of potential. I’m so grateful and happy that my boys will experience world-class training, you know what I’m saying?”
The training sessions will be held from April 30 to May 17, with just enough time for the players to return to Manila for the first term of the upcoming school year. According to the letters, all members of the Green Booters will be expected by Spain’s two biggest football clubs to attend the separate training sessions. However, since some days will have conflicting schedules, Smit has decided to let his players choose which club to train with for that specific day.
“I can’t miss out on one club because the other club restricts me from doing so. Both clubs are excellent and have their own specialties. That being said, I just told them you can go wherever you want,” bares Smit.
UAAP Season 75 Best Defender Greggy Yang was ecstatic when he heard the news. The sophomore says, “I can’t wait to learn from the renowned Real Madrid back four, especially Sergio Ramos who I think I can gain a lot from.”
Despite not being part of the line-up next season, Team Captain Patrick Deyto is included in this project after being invited by Smit. The Green Archers United veteran is excited to be training with Casillas, the keeper of the FIFA World XI 2012.
“I look up a lot to Iker. He’s one of the best out there and being a Real Madrid fan, it is a dream come true. When I saw the training dates, I asked GAU (Green Archers United) if I could be out for three weeks. Thankfully, they allowed me to take this opportunity,” he recounts.
Meanwhile, forwards Gelo and Gio Diamante will alternate their training sessions under the tutelage of Barcelona’s top strikers Messi and David Villa as well as Madrid’s world class midfielders Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil. “We were blessed to be given this chance.
We will surely learn a lot from them because they have one of the world’s most potent strike forces in the world today,” says Diamante.
With the team training with two of the world’s best squads, La Salle will definitely be primed to improve on last season’s fourth place finish. “We will not be content with narrow margins next year. We want to achieve high goal differences and let them know that we want to regain the championship so bad,” aims Smit.
“I can no longer stand this UAAP trophy drought anymore. We have to win one soon,” the long-time mentor concludes.