Diego Kochen celebrates his arrival at FC Barcelona: “It is an honor and a responsibility”.
Diego Kochen always wanted to be a goalkeeper, but it was difficult for him to convince his coaches to put him in that position. “I started playing when I was 5 years old, but it wasn’t until I was 8 that I made my debut as a keeper,” recalls the young soccer player from Miami. “The only thing I remember from my childhood is that I wanted to be a goalie. I had to insist a lot until my coach gave me the opportunity to participate in a tournament as a substitute goalkeeper. However, the starter got sick before the competition and I ended up playing the whole tournament. Everything else is history. ”
The story had a happy ending, with Diego signing for FC Barcelona U-16 team. “Coming to this club has been an exceptional experience. I really appreciate the support Barça is giving me in all aspects. This is the best thing that has happened in my life,” explains the American goalkeeper, who arrived at Barça after his stay at the Marcet High Performance Academy.
Question.- How did you get to Spain?
Answer.- I was playing for West Pines United, in Florida, when one of my teammates’ father organized a trip to Madrid to attend the ‘Clásico’, go sightseeing and play several friendly matches. There we had the opportunity to go to Barcelona to play against a Marcet team. In addition to the game, as part of the visit we also had some training sessions. I still remember that very well. We were all very impressed and my father decided to start enrolling me and my brother in this academy’s summer camps.
“my ENTIRE stay at Marcet was a unique experience. It was many hours of hard work, effort and dedication”
Q.- What did you do at Marcet?
A.- I started in 2016 with a summer camp in Barcelona. Then I participated in several intensive courses and even in international tournaments in Switzerland, Italy, Romania and Germany. In 2018 my parents decided to move to Barcelona for work related reasonsand that allowed my brother and I to sign up for the Professional Program, where I was until May 2019.
Q.- What were the most significant experiences you had while in Marcet?
A.- The truth is that my entire stay at Marcet was a unique experience. I have excellent memories. I have experienced many beautiful things, such as making friends from many different countries, traveling abroad and playing in international tournaments… But perhaps the most important thing was to compete and win the league. It was many hours a day of hard work, a lot of effort and dedication. Not only from me, but from all my teammates and also the coaches, especially Rubén Yegba, the keeper’s trainer.
Q.- What did you learn in Marcet?
A.- Many things! I improved in technical, tactical and emotional aspects. I remember the hours spent working to improve my aerial game, saves, reaction speed… Also all the additional support I received off the field helped me a lot to understand the essence of the goalkeeper position and how important it is. Above all, I understood that the only way to improve is with perseverance, discipline and dedication.
Q.- When did you know that Barça was interested in you? How did they recruit you?
A.- The truth is that I don’t know where and when the Barça scouts noticed me, but it must have been in one of the games I played with Marcet. What I do know is that I was the last one to find out about Barça’s interest, since my parents didn’t tell me until the end. They finally told me at home, right after a training session at Marcet. Obviously I felt a great joy. I couldn’t believe it! I was speechless for a few minutes. Being part of the best team in the world is like a dream. It is an honor, but also a great responsibility.
Q.- What are your goals now?
A.- My main objective is to keep working hard, keep learning every day to improve and be able to stay at FC Barcelona.