Malta’s footballing youths now have an opportunity to train, play and perform with the mentality and skill set of a top-tier athlete with the imminent launch of the Juventus Academy.
At the helm of the new academy are head coach Matteo Barresi and vice head coach Alessio Capraro who will bring with them a special set of expertise, sharpened through years of experience, and a mentality and approach towards football they distinctively describe as ‘The Juventus Way’.
“The Juventus Academy aims to equip players with the tools to reach their objectives,” the two coaches told Lovin Malta. “However, we must also consider that the end result, and whether they make it or not, depends on many factors which are beyond everyone’s control.”
The road to becoming a professional footballer is long and treacherous, even for Europe’s biggest sporting nations, let alone for Malta, which has been historically undervalued for its athletic potential.
Yet, Malta has managed to produce some elite athletes from time to time, including 17-year-old wonderkid Haley Bugeja who finished her debut season in Serie A as one of the league’s top goalscorers and its best young player.
“From what we saw throughout the Juventus Academy camp in 2020, the level of play is good, the foundations are in place and we believe we can build on this and contribute significantly towards stepping up the level of play,” the coaches continued.
“Both of us have travelled extensively and we feel there are good levels here in Malta.”
The Juventus coaches have experience training and teach youths in Canada, Italy, England, Russia, Australia, USA and Dubai, and are ready to bring their knowledge and wisdom to the shores of Malta this September.
In particular, head coach Barresi brings with him a profound knowledge of behavioural science, having undertaken a PhD in the subject, and in turn, will help fill a void Maltese sports has with regards to player mentality and mindset.
“The main objective is to bring what we call ‘The Juventus Way’ to Malta, both when it comes to mentality and methodology,” they continued. “From a technical and tactical perspective, we aim to develop each player’s full potential without neglecting the psychological and emotional aspects of each individual.”
Within the academy, youths will be exposed to situational games and football game practice all in preparation for the highly competitive international competitions, including the Juventus World Cup in Torino.
Maltese athletes participating in the academy will have the opportunity to compete in the Juventus World Cup, an annual event consisting of 86 teams from 28 nations with a total of 1,004 players. The tournament finals will be played at the Allianz Stadium.
“It is difficult to predict what the impact will be since this is the first time that the Juventus methodology will be used in Malta,” they continued.” However, what is certain is that we will continuously monitor progress and liaise with the head office in Torino to analyse and evaluate our output.”
The Juventus Way encompasses a holistic approach to football that emphasises both physical and mental training reminiscent of that displayed by the world’s best players, including Juventus stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Giorgio Chiellini themselves.
“Ronaldo is my favourite player,” Barresi said. “His talent is exceptional, his mindset is very strong and he is a complete athlete who is very professional.”
“Chellini is my favourite player because of his ability to read the game. He also has a strong personality and is a symbol of Juventus,” Capraro said.
The Juventus Academy will bring with it a new mindset and approach to training in Malta, but the ultimate success of the athlete comes down to factors beyond the confines of the academy walls.
“There is no magic formula to improve performance,” the coaches continued. “It is a combination of mindset and facilities together with other factors which all need to be developed in parallel to attain good results.”
“We make great efforts to make this possible by using our experience and sharing knowledge with our colleagues to re-create the perfect environment and balance to be successful,” they ended.
Tag someone who loves football