Interview with Natxo Marcet, CEO of Fundacion Marcet

Noticias > Interview with Natxo Marcet, CEO of Fundacion Marcet

Natxo Marcet is the CEO of the Marcet Foundation, an academy through which more than 1,000 children and young people, from 6 to 19 years old, pass every year. This academy draws on qualified trainers (coaches, physical trainers, analysts…), many of whom are recruited from FutbolJobs. Marcet tells us about his academy and how they hire trainers through FutbolJobs.

Natxo Marcet: “FutbolJobs helps us a lot, the people on the platform are soccer people”.

-Tell me about the Marcet Foundation.

-We have our original headquarters and where we still operate and continue to be our main base, which is in the city of Barcelona, in the Marcet facilities. We have one of the characteristics that surely as an academy, as a soccer center, we are the place with more space of our own to train in the city of Barcelona, because in the end even Espanyol and Barça have had to go outside. But we are hanging in there, in our little corner of Horta, resisting, and the truth is that it is a great advantage, especially at the local level, so that the kids can come on the bus, on the subway … the ease of connection is very much appreciated. We have been in business since the late 1970s. My father, Nacho Marcet, the president, who today is the president, set up a school thinking about the integral formation of the soccer players, that is to say, that the soccer player would not only be formed professionally and seriously as a professional, that is to say, that he would work the soccer profession as a profession, and not only the players, but also all the trainers would work from a much more professionalized point of view. Today it seems very normal to us, but back then it was less common. And a need to work on both the professional and the personal side, let’s say that in the end it is equally important and little is raised, which is the question of the person, that is, to develop the person, both in the soccer field and in the academic field, as well as in his personal life. And that is where we have found the biggest challenge of all, because we have to make the kids understand that it is not enough to play good soccer. Playing good soccer is something that all players are expected to do. All that professionals will take into account in the future is to play perfect soccer, but you are a person with the ability to adapt to a new locker room, you are a person who will be working giving 100% at all times, and that depends not so much on talent, but on an attitude and a way of being that you have been working on since you were a kid. And relating this aspect to the part of the professionals of the people who work here with us is that, of course, one of their priorities is not only to teach you the question of technique or the question of tactics or how soccer works. That is very important, of course, it is done. And we have been developing this for years, but it is also very important and for us it is one of the key elements when it comes to work, and that is what we try to transmit to our trainers is to generate useful people, to generate people who, whether in soccer or in any other area of their lives, are people with those skills and those values that will count later on: working spirit, teamwork, capacity for sacrifice… These elements are normally associated with sports, but they are not obtained just by playing a sport, they are obtained by delving into them. And that is the key role of the trainer, who goes a little bit further, in our case, than a pure and hard coach, because he has to worry much more about the person than the team, in the sense that for us the final result, our league, is that the kids improve and access professionalism in all the areas they want, not so much winning at the end of the month, winning on Sunday or winning a league, because that is the work that clubs do, and it is very important that they do it, because, obviously, competition is key, but they are not two different jobs, it is like the difference between an orchestra and an academy.

-How many kids do you have in your academy?

-To give you an idea. – We have 300 kids with us all year long, preparing to become soccer players. but that of what ages? I have boys from the age of six to 19 or so. Then there’s always a spike somewhere, but that’s pretty much the standard. But those are the ones that are there all year round. And those are the ones in the professional program. Then we have another 200 in local intensive courses, plus all those who come in short term. We are talking about thousands of students who come for a few weeks, then leave, from all over the world, both locals and children from any country.

-The role of trainers is fundamental. Many of them have found them through FutbolJobs.

– We have practically everybody. That’s what it requires of us is to have a job, a high demand for trainers. At the end of the day, those kids come here and they need someone to explain something to them and they need someone to train them in a consistent way. That is to say, not only being a good soccer coach is not enough for Marcet. You have to be clear about the philosophy and the way Marcet works because that is what is going to give that kid continuity. A continuity in the work beyond the concrete contact he has with that specific coach, that has to be as satisfactory as possible, but that has to be able to continue growing. So, in the end, we have a great need to hire many trainers, but at the same time we need people who have certain guarantees. An 18-year-old who wants to start training kids and who does not know anything and has not been trained, well, of course, he is of no use to us. So, we have to start with a process. We work only in a training process. The first and most important thing is to have certain guarantees about that person. That is to say, where do we get professional players? where do people who have the right soccer training, people who have been preparing for a long time and who have been in the world for a long time, where do they go to look for work? And one of the places where they move and one of the places where we get many of our trainers is precisely platforms like FutbolJobs. I mean, we’re not talking about a normal job search portal where anybody signs up, but it’s really a portal where the people who enter, where the people who move, obviously stand out, because they are people who are in the world of soccer. FutbolJobs helps us, and that’s one of our main needs, not to waste time.

-The fact that, for example, the resumes arrive filtered, with segmented people, is key when it comes to hiring trainers?

– Of course, exactly. He thinks that in soccer the problem is not to have candidates, but to have good candidates. And FutbolJobs gives it to you. Everyone wants to dedicate themselves to soccer. It’s a good thing. Everyone thinks they know. A lot of people want to go into soccer. The hard part is finding people who fit the profile you need. For that it is not so difficult to get people, because it is relatively easy, what is difficult is to get qualified people who respond to what you are looking for. So, hence the use of a platform like FutbolJobs, which helps us to do all these filtering processes in a very specific way within the world of soccer.

-How many coaches have you hired through FutbolJobs?

– We are talking about, in the end, more than ten people. Well, I don’t want to tell you a number but many every year. When you work in the world of soccer, soccer goes beyond the player and the coach. That, of course. You have analysts, which is a very important world, you have the whole basic world of preparation. We work with analysts, physical trainers …. We even have a doctor, a doctor who is here every morning with us every day. At the end of the day, a child has many needs and all those needs must be met. Academic as well as soccer activities must be covered. No matter how much you dedicate yourself to soccer, in the end the kid has needs of all kinds and nature. So, there are things you can outsource, but many things you have to integrate into your own logic. So, we integrate them, most of everything we can. And yes, job opportunities in the world of soccer are by no means limited to player and coach. In fact, it is in these areas that you will have the most competition. And the normal thing, generally, not as a player, but as a coach, is to enter in other ways, where you have a lower barrier to entry, less competition, of people. And from there, you gain the trust of the institution in which you work and you move forward.

– Besides, it is our experience. Then there are cases of all kinds.

-Is the experience with the candidates satisfactory?

– Yes, yes, that’s right. In general terms, the experience is very satisfactory in the sense that, when you work and make a combination of all the filters and all the previous filtering that FutbolJobs does, and then, all the work that we do, whether it is interviews, etc. …. In the end, when an agreement is closed, we end up quite satisfied with how it is developing, how the work is developing. It is also true that we are a relatively large institution.

-Which players who have gone through Marcet are now professionals?

-We are the Soccer Academy with the highest success rate in the world, in the sense that there is no other academy that places so many kids in the top divisions around the world. but what does this mean? That we are continuously generating Messis or Mbappes? This is something out of orbit, we are continuously generating players that end up playing in the first division with other profiles. For example, lately the name of a person who has been a professional for many years, Óliver Torres, who is now at Sevilla, has been mentioned a lot. But we are not only talking about Spain, we are also talking about players who have traveled all over the world. You have the case of Konrad de la Fuente, for example, who was the star of Barca, who is now developing outside Spain and many more…