Confidence, revived


Nam wasn’t enjoying football in South Korea. It was in Barcelona where his enthusiasm would take him to play against some of Spain’s best teams.

Football was his life passion. Only, in South Korea he couldn’t do it justice. “When I was a Cadete (U-16s), I’d get a lot of injuries and was having a bad time because I just could’t convince my coach I was as good as I was,” remembers Nam Donghyeon, 18-year-old left-back. “Back in my country, I wasn’t really enjoying the sport because the workouts were too hard and sometimes the technicians would hit me.”

This being the case, Nam’s father looked for solutions, and he finds Marcet. “We decided to embark on this adventure to Barcelona and it was a success! I didn’t know a word of Spanish, but I wanted to find my place in the world of football. In the beginning, it was difficult for me to adapt to the language, culture, food… But Spanish classes and my colleagues in the High-Performance Academy helped me overcome everything that was getting in the way.”

Nam Donghyeon durante un partido contra el Atlético de Madrid.
Nam Donghyeon plays a match against Atlético de Madrid.

After his arrival in Barcelona, Nam appreciated sharing life experiences and training with children from around the world. “I’ve met players from Russia, Africa, America… Communicating with them on a daily basis has been a very important experience, which has helped me mature. Before, I was afraid to talk to foreigners, but now I’m all for it!

The improvements experienced and the progress made has Nam recommending the experience to a number of South Korean footballers. “Other than training on the pitch, we have sessions on the beach, in the pool, focused on coordination, with video analysis and New Technologies. I may have not been enjoying football before, but here in Barcelona I can’t wait for the next practice session.”

In Korea, Nam was under pressure from his technicians. He had lost his confidence. At Marcet, he started believing in himself again. “In Barcelona, I feel freer and like I’m able to develop my creativity on the pitch,” he explains, who has come to face teams like Barça, Atlético de Madrid, Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia with unparalleled enthusiasm. “In my country I couldn’t even imagine that one day I would have played games like these, having played well against rivals like these has given me the confidence to move forward and improve spectacularly.”

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