Diego Luna – Back for More; Year Two at Barça Residency Academy


September 5, 2019

1:13 PM MDT

Player Insider: Diego Luna

Since my time here at the Academy, I learned how to play the Barça way by adopting Barça’s methodology. I learned how to be more professional by having my locker cleaned, being on time for meetings and training, and taking care of my body. I also learned how to be independent because my parents are not here to guide me in making good decisions like getting up on time, eating right, and sleeping well. A major milestone for me was my 15-pound weight loss. I am better able to maintain my stamina, speed, and concentration with this weight loss.

In school last year, I started with a very low GPA and ended up reaching Honor Roll. This year, I hope to end with at least a 3.5 GPA to be better positioned for the colleges I want to attend. On the pitch, I reached my goal of becoming a smarter player who anticipated potential plays on the pitch. Throughout the year, I was not comfortable and had a rough transition, but towards the end of the year I showed my coaches and teammates why I was worth investing in. I scored 7 goals in the last three games, and this year I want to be even better.

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At Barça, my main goals were to work on the areas my coaches told me needed improvement. I worked on recovery on the defensive side – learning to always get behind the ball, and be in a position that if we lose the ball to recover it. I took my coach’s advice and began working on being more of a leader by using positive communication and doing my job on and off the ball (play well even without the ball). I learned that I need to have a good mentality (so don’t be negative with myself or with other players), and work on endurance (maintaining a healthy diet and continue running on my free time – cardio).

My decision to return to Barça was difficult because I left my family, friends, and home. I knew that not returning to Barça would be a mistake because last year was an amazing experience making friends and bonding with my teammates. I knew I did not reach my full potential last year, so I am even more motivated this year to be the best I can be in the classroom and on the pitch.

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