Although he played for some of the best teams in Spain, ‘El Maestro’ never let his athletic career get in the way of his academic education.
Francisco Javier Marcet Mundó (Barcelona, 1928) played for RCD Espanyol, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF. When was on the pitch he started as a striker then was converted into a winger. Whilst playing he stood out for his organisational skills and his exquisite technique which earned him the nicknames ‘The Brain’ & ‘El Maestro’.
His golden years were at Espanyol, where he was part of one of the most memorable attacking line-up’s to date along-side great players like Mauri, Arcas, Piquín and Egea. Thanks to his excellent contributions to the Blanquiazul outfit he earned a call-up to the national side and made his debut in a clash against Sweden in 1951.
With the ball at his feet, ‘El Maestro’ showcased his technique to half of Europe and South America until he reached 30, when he decided to hang up his boots. A long time had passed since his first matches with Castellón in the Second Division, and Marcet was more than prepared for his final good goodbyes to his playing days.
Long term vision
It turned out that ‘El Maestro’ was the same off the pitch as well. Because after the final match, comes real life, and Marcet knew this. This is why he never let his athletic career get in the way of his academic education. So much so that whilst at Madrid he decided to leave as his stay in the capital was getting in the way of his studies.
This long term vision, his ability to think outside of those white lines is what really turned him into a real visionary of his era. Having a degree in Economics and Law and from the Universities of Deusto and Madrid, and a diploma from the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa, Marcet found in the classroom what football during the 50’s couldn’t give him. With effort and perseverance he was able to prepare himself for what was to come after hanging his boots and start an excellent career as an executive.
Married to María del Carmen Bonel and father of eight, ‘El Maestro’ never abandoned the world of football completely. Not only did he coach the Catalan national squad and became a member of the Consulting Council for the Spanish football federation. He also wanted to work and find a way to improve football in two aspects that weren’t around when he was a player: individual training sessions on technique and a values based education.
This is how the Fundación Marcet project was formed, where he has been honorary president since the beginning. A football academy where thousands of kids have been through doors in the last 40 years and today has a presence in twenty-eight different countries, and has become a international reference when it comes to sports education and a values based education.
Values that ‘El Maestro’ tried to cement into the game through the book ‘Repensar el Fútbol’ (Diario la Grada Ediciones), an honest guide into helping understand problems inside the game and debating it’s immediate future. A book written from the experience of someone who played football in a time where it was more “spontaneous”, more “honest” and less “dodgy”. In the book, Javier Marcet offers an insight into reinventing this sport and restoring it’s values, and mindful that his legacy will continue to live through the academy that bears his name.