There is great football talent all around the world, but the key is how to develop young players with raw ability into the finished article for professional football.
That is the view of LaLiga Senior Specialist in Football Projects Development Saul Vazquez, who tells The COSAFA Show finding players with talent in different countries is not the problem, but the deciding factor in whether they make it in the game is often the environment they are in.
There might be a potential global great in Southern Africa as we speak, but if they do not get the right training and opportunities to reach their potential, they never will, according to Vazquez.
“Talent is everywhere, you can see good players in different countries. The difference is the way to develop them or the chances to develop them,” Vazquez says, adding that is a message they drive home in their LaLiga Masterclass coaching workshops.
“Sometimes the difficulty is to understand the context. That is why we can adapt our philosophy and methodology to the real context. It does not matter if we are in America, India, China or South Africa, if we can adapt our content and methodology to those players, and adapt a little bit to the environment, then everywhere we can build good players.”
LaLiga have been hosting workshops for Southern African coaches this month and Sport Projects Coordinator Carlos Casal echoes Vazquez’s views.
“For us it is a wonderful opportunity, because we believe there is huge talent in Southern Africa – not only with players, but also coaches,” Casal says.
“We believe they have interest in the methodology and how they can go one step further, and the good things is that in this coaching series with COSAFA, we were analysing what we did in the past.
“We were training with the national youth teams in Mauritius two months ago and it was a great opportunity to show other countries how we train in a specific context and how we work with the different coaches and players we are involving.
“And it helps us to better know the different countries and different football varieties we have around the world.”
Vazquez and Casal discuss a whole range of issues on this episode of The COSAFA Show, including what makes Spain such a successful footballing country.
We also hear from the coaches of Zambia and South Africa after they qualified their teams for the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations that will be staged in Morocco from July 2-23.