FC Barcelona, the current champion of European and world soccer, is seen as the gold standard in the game. And in the last decade, some of that success is due to players from Africa, such as Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o and Ivory Coast’s Yaya Toure.
Now, to facilitate the flow of talented young players from the continent, Barcelona is going to the source. The club is setting up a satellite of its famous La Masia youth development academy in Lagos, Nigeria—hoping it will find the next Lionel Messi in Africa’s biggest city, with a population of 21 million. Barcelona’s academy directors have sealed permission from the city’s government to set up shop in Nigeria’s commercial nerve center.