He arrived at Marcet without knowing how to get the ball off the ground. Today Akzhol plays for the U15 National Team of Kazakhstan.
His first weeks in Barcelona were not easy. “The truth is that at first it was quite hard because I had to make new friends, meet new coaches, learn new disciplines, go to a new school…”. This is how Akzhol Abdrakhmanov describes his beginnings at Marcet. And he does so with the smile of someone, who, four years later, remembers that stage as a phase he had to overcome to become what he is today: a player in the U15 National Team of Kazakhstan.
The first challenge that Marcet students face during their stay at the Academy is always the adaptation phase. Leaving your comfort zone is no simple feat, especially for the younger players and for those who come from abroad. Akzhol met both conditions when he arrived in Spain. “At the beginning I was always tired because I had never trained twice a day before.”
“At Marcet I learned two languages, as well as learning to be more educated and less lazy”
“I found Marcet through the Internet,” recalls the young left-back. “I was convinced by the international origins of the students and the level of football in a city like Barcelona. At Marcet I learned two languages, as well as learning to be more educated and less lazy. I improved my shooting at goal and dribbling of the ball. And before arriving I didn’t even know how to lift the ball from the ground and didn’t understand anything about tactics.”
During his years as a student of the Professional Program, Akzhol was able to face teams such as Barça, Manchester City, Valencia, Villarreal and Montpellier. “I thank my coaches for those four amazing years. Football in Spain is far superior than in Kazakhstan. Everything I learned was essential in order to reach the National Team of my country,” Akzhol explains.
The call came in August 2019, shortly after finishing his training cycle at Marcet. “My mother told me the news. I was very happy because it is not easy to reach the National Team. I was summoned to play in a tournament against Bulgaria, Greece and Slovakia. This was all in concentrated into one week and I got to play in all three games.” A good start for a player who still has a lot of room for improvement. “You have to keep working. Only by doing this can dreams come true.”