April 1, 2011
Bruno Andres from the U16 Santa Clara Sporting '94 Team has been studing abroad and playing soccer in Spain. We asked him to take a moment and share his experiences over the past year. Bruno will return from Barcelona in May or June to rejoin his team.
How long have you been playing soccer and studying abroad?
I have been playing soccer since I was 4 years old and I moved to play soccer in Europe when I was 15. I am now 16 years old.
What is the name of the soccer academy you are training at, and where is it located?
The academy is called “Fundacion Marcet”, and it is located in the center of Barcelona.
What are some of the major differences you see between youth soccer players in Spain vs. America?
In Spain the players tend to be more technical because that is the main focus in Europe, while in America I feel that there is more physical play.
What do you like about this experience, and what was the toughest or hardest part?
I love that I get to play soccer where is considered to be the best place in the world for this sport (after Spain won the World Cup in 2010). In order to be competitive and respected as a player here, I have been pushed to get to a level that I did not have before and I have improved tremendously.
The hardest part was leaving everything that I had back home, including my family and friends.
Who is your favorite player, and team?
My favorite soccer team since I have been a little kid has always been F.C Barcelona. My favorite soccer player is Cristiano Ronaldo, I love his footwork and his drive to always work hard and strive for continuous improvement.
List the three things you miss from home
I miss my family, my friends, and often times I miss the average life of a teenager in Pleasanton, but I had to give it all up for the better. Even if this was a very difficult decision, it was the right one for me. I believe I am accomplishing the soccer level and exposure I was looking for.
List the three things you will miss when you leave Spain
I will miss all my teammates and the new friends that I have made, without them I would have never been able to survive in a completely new environment without so much help.