The opportunity of a lifetime will present itself to a generation of youngsters who have the dream of becoming a professional football player. The Showcase arrives at the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the official training centre of the Spanish National Team, on July 24th – 30th, and hundreds of gifted players aged between 15 and 23 years old will have the chance to be discovered and signed by a professional football club.
The Showcase will take place at the Spanish Football Federation, located in the municipality of Las Rozas de Madrid, around 20 km northwest of the capital, Madrid. The facility occupies an area of 12 hectares, and It is currently home to 4 regular-sized football training pitches, an indoor arena, a social and training area, a gym, theatres and meeting rooms, a hotel, and an on-site medical centre.
The Showcase is a global platform dedicated to helping talented young footballers get the exposure they need to secure professional contracts with Spanish clubs. Football is more than just a game, it’s a life-changing opportunity for many players and their families. The Showcase connects players with professional clubs, coaches, and scouts from around the world.
This is a truly unique event, which will give those lucky enough to take part an insight into what the world of a professional footballer involves. It represents the greatest opportunity worldwide for those who dream of becoming professional footballers.
The Showcase collaborates with over 50 academies worldwide in order to discover new talents and give them the chance to come and play in Spain and any players interested in taking part can sign up on The Showcase website
This year will see The Showcase partnering with, Real Club Celta de Vigo, Real Betis Balompié, Real Valladolid CF, Albacete Balompié S.A.D., Real Oviedo S.A.D., C.F. Rayo Majadahonda, and Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa, and providing talented players with the opportunity to become professional footballers for one of these clubs
Players will be given the chance to demonstrate their skills in a one-week tryout involving UEFA A Pro coaches. Throughout the event, not only will coaches from some of the top clubs in Spain be supervising training and matches, but two scouts from each participating club will also be present to observe players both on and off the field. On the event’s final day, an Awards Ceremony takes place where each participating club selects at least one player to attend a professional trial and/or sign a contract.
The Showcase is the brainchild of Marc Bautista Angel, the event’s director and founder. Born in Barcelona, the dream of being a professional and graduating from Barcelona’s famous, La Masia de Can Planes, flowed through his veins. He would play with Barcelona FC until the age of 12, before at the age of 16, he left home and went to play on the island of Menorca.
His career would then take him to Germany’s 4th division and then the Austrian 3rd division, before becoming disillusioned with the game and quitting at the age of 24. He has since dedicated his life to giving players the opportunity to make it the game.
This year marks the second edition of The Showcase, and with its popularity continuing to grow, it will also be coming to Cairo, on August 7th-18th. With The Showcase in Madrid fast approaching, The Atlantic Dispatch sat down with Marc to learn more about a truly incredible event that is helping provide a bigger and brighter future for a new generation of talent.
CREATING A PLATFORM TO GIVE TALENTED FOOTBALLERS THE OPPORTUNITY THEY DESERVE
I sometimes feel that I wasn’t given the opportunities I deserved to become a professional footballer. As a result, I wanted to create a platform to give young talented footballers the opportunity they deserve.
I started from nothing and developed the idea and presented the project to several Spanish clubs and saw many doors closing in front of my face. Currently, we have 7 Spanish professional clubs on board such as Real Betis and Celta Vigo and we are always looking to partner with more.
Initially, The Showcase event was only supposed to take place in Madrid, at the facility of the Spanish Football Federation. Last year, on July 2022, the first edition took place and half of the registered players couldn’t attend for Visa reasons.
They were so many players from Africa, which is why this year we are also organising another edition of the event in Cairo on August 7th-18th. Despite this, our first event last year was successful and one player from Denmark, Anas Guendouri, signed a professional contract with Rayo Majadahonda, after a good first season with the club (22/23), his contract has already been renewed for the 23/24 season.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE
The event in Madrid and Cairo are exactly the same. The differences consist of duration, number of participants and location. For the rest, it is the same opportunity with the same clubs watching. All the players have training and matches throughout the event with the scouts attending every session and, at the end of the event, each one of the 7 clubs will select at least one player to take with them for the pre-season until they decide whether they offer him a contract.
The biggest challenge has been the rejection of the Visas for African players, who are not allowed to come to Spain for a football trial. From this challenge, we decided to generate an opportunity which evolved into one of our biggest achievements. That is to say the collaboration with the Egyptian Sports Ministry to organise our event in Cairo for the promotion of football in such a rich continent as Africa.
WE AIM TO BE THAT PATHWAY
Every time we explain the project to someone new, the person loves it! Unfortunately, in this field, there are a lot of scams, people who just take money from players full of dreams. We are trying to do something different here.
The whole idea around this is giving the opportunity to sign a professional contract in Spain to players that otherwise would not have it. Sometimes, mostly In Africa, the players have the level but they are just in need of a pathway. We aim to be that pathway.
Our goal is to be recognized as the best scouting platform in the world. I cannot say much more about this, but yes. By growing year by year we will definitely get there and more and more people will hear about The Showcase.
With thanks to the gentleman that is Marc Bautisa Angel.
For more information on The Showcase please visit here.