The Mexican midfielder, Mateo James Schmidly (born 2008), has become the first player from a Mexican Barça Academy to join the trainees at FC Barcelona’s residency academy in Casa Grande - Barça Residency Academy Arizona. Born in Albuquerque (New Mexico), Schmidly played for Barça Academy Puebla for two seasons before moving to the academy in the U.S.A.
Mateo has played football from a young age at different summer camps in Mexico, as well as at clubs in New Mexico like Bernalillo, Corrales and Rio Rapids. However, summer 2018 saw him learn a new approach that would change his view of football. The young player joined the Barça Academy Camp held in Puebla and instantly fell in love with the style of play.
Mateo is a skilful two-footed player, with great vision and a powerful shot. During his two seasons at Barça Academy Puebla, he and his side participated in two major international tournaments, the Barça Academy World Cup, held in April 2019 at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, and the Barça Academy Las Américas Cup, held in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), where his team finished in a very respectable second place.
Beyond the sports education, the Schmidly family are also delighted with the values their son is learning at the academy, such as “teamwork, that everyone has the chance to improve… this meant we could instantly see the playing style, which made our son feel more confident and creative about his football”, stated Mateo’s parents.
His current stay at the Barça Residency Academy will enable Mateo to further his education both in sport and as a person 24 hours a day, and help him take the steps to fulfilling his dream to become a professional footballer.