This book tells the story of how FC Barcelona has managed to build one of the best soccer teams in the world using primarily the players from its youth academy (nicknamed “La Masia” – the farmhouse). During the 2013-2014 season, 17 of the 25 players of the first team were from La Masia, a historical record. These players, including Messi, Iniesta, and Xavi, have dazzled soccer fans around the world with their dance-like positioning and passing skills. La Masia now trains kids from all continents, including its first American, Ben Lederman. This book reveals that this accumulation of talent is not a coincidence but the result of a 30 year-long plan, set in motion by the brilliant mind of Dutch coach and ex-Barça player Johan Cruyff. The author explains here that the strategy followed by most rich clubs to be at the top (purchase the best players and sell their homegrown) is not self-sustainable because the investors’ money does not come from soccer. La Masia, on the other hand, has saved Barça millions of euros. Will the MLS learn this valuable lesson and promote its youth academies, or will it let American soccer fall in the hands of big businesses?
CRC Press, 2012
Helping to educate the new generation of engineers and biologists, this textbook explains how certain problems in biology and medicine benefit from (and often require) the miniaturization of devices. The book covers the whole breadth of this dynamic field, including classical microfabrication, self-assembly, soft lithography, microfluidics, tissue engineering, cell-based and noncell-based devices, and implantable systems. It focuses on high-impact, creative work encompassing all the scales of life -- from biomolecules to cells, tissues, and organisms. This book -- in color throughout -- includes only the most essential formulas, many noncalculation-based exercises, and more than 400 color figures. Developed from Albert Folch's long-running course, this classroom-tested text gives readers a vivid picture of how the field has grown by presenting historical perspectives and a timeline of seminal discoveries.
Editorial Empúries, 2004
This book uses soccer as an excuse to communicate science. What would soccer be like played in another planet? Why is grass such a good surface for playing soccer, if it's made of delicate living cells? Why are soccer balls designed with twelve pentagons and twenty hexagons? How long does it take for the image of a soccer ball in the eye to reach the brain? Why do balls curve? How long is the foot in contact with the ball during a kick? Whose fault is it that referees make so many mistakes in assessing an offside violation? If you are curious about these questions, then this book is for you. Contrary to what the title implies, you don't need to know any soccer or science to read this book. (In Catalan -- coming in English soon.)
Albert Folch also keeps a related blog site (http://afolch.blogspot.com) that looks at FCBarcelona's current state of affairs with a scientific perspective. You can follow by web, Twitter (@AFolchFolch), or email.
"Atrapats a Internet" is addressed to those who want to learn what Internet is and what it is useful for, to those who don't know well who invented it or who is paying for it. This book is for those who get lost on the Internet and for those who still don't know why it is important to use it. This book also claims that net access should be guaranteed the same way that access to health care and education is in some countries. (In Catalan.) "One of the most intelligent books about the Internet one can find" - Newspaper Avui.
Out of print.