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Barca to open English academy

Image: Camp Nou: Barca's home

Barcelona are to open an academy in Surrey, placing them in direct competition with Chelsea.

Catalan giants set up training school in Surrey

Barcelona are to open an academy in Surrey, placing them in direct competition with Chelsea. The Catalan giants have struck a deal which will see them set up their first training camp outside of Spain. Barca will begin staging coaching classes for 300 hopefuls between the ages of six and 16 from April at ACS school in Cobham. The school, which is less than two miles from Chelsea's training ground, is attended by the children of Didier Drogba and Yossi Benayoun.

Passion

Barca appreciate that they will be competing for promising talent with the reigning Premier League champions, but believe both sides will benefit from the initiative. Academy coach Xevi Marce said: "We are not coming here to be in competition with Chelsea. "We are going to start slowly but surely to build a team here, train all the kids and get that passion. "In the future we might lose a player or two to Chelsea or the other way around. It is not a problem."

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