Soccer-Barca launch fictional series about youth academy

BARCELONA, April 24 (Reuters) - Barcelona’s players may be house-bound due to the COVID-19 pandemic but the club’s thirst for new revenue streams remains undeterred and on Friday they revealed plans to make a television series about their famed youth academy La Masia.

The new project, written by screenwriter Albert Espinosa, will be a fictional portrayal of the youngsters living at La Masia who are hoping to follow the paths of the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi in becoming first team stars.

“The goal of the series is not to recreate real life situations or people at La Masia but rather to take inspiration to create authentic fictional stories,” said a Barca statement.

“The result will be a fictional series designed for a young audience and families. The protagonists will be young athletes, the people around them and their human relationships.”

Filming is to begin on location at the end of this year.

“We will see football but above all we will see human relationships,” added Espinosa.

“The protagonists are young people with many dreams in a mythical place where players like Messi, Xavi or Iniesta started out. We will see how these idols to so many people are created.”

The show will be produced by the club’s production company Barca Studios which last year made Matchday, a behind-the-scenes documentary series which captured the mood of the players from inside the dressing room before and after matches, including their painful 4-0 loss to Liverpool in the Champions League.

Matchday followed in the footsteps of hugely successful shows following the day-to-day running of football clubs such as Netflix’s Sunderland ‘Til I Die and Amazon Prime’s All or Nothing series on Manchester City. (Reporting by Richard Martin Editing by Christian Radnedge)