“We want to create a culturalist DNA.” Adrián Cantabrana (Logroño, 1997), director of the quarry and methodology of the Cultural and Sports Leonesa speaks. The man who today develops that idea that flooded Cultu a year after Aspire arrived, led by Morante, Óscar Garro, Carlos Antonán, Israel Martínez. The goal, of course: “Train players who reach the first team.” Something that didn’t happen. “There were only one or two.” And they were formed in other clubs. For example: Viti, Leonese trained in Depor. “Now we have Aaron, Rodri, Marcos, Percan, David López in the first team…”. Players who went through his entire academy. From children to the subsidiary, through cadets and youth. A method for manufacturing elite Leonese players, who nurture a Cultural team that this season in the first team has not finished things completely but that has not stopped boasting of its quarry. Everything under that DNA that León shouts in each ball. He claws, race, a roar.
“The methodology has that objective, from the first stages”. Since the end of last season there are already eight, nine footballers in the first team. “In the subsidiary, a 90”. The Jupiter, signings from outside, few, just three. “If you don’t get those players out, you don’t have capacity as a team.” A method that has caught the attention of other teams, such as Marbella de Granero. A method with many legs. The first is the scientific basis, big data, essential in football in the 21st century. “Neuroscience”, argues Adrián, “to work on the players’ decision-making”. Something that is achieved from training. Not that the footballers think they are going to do it, but that they do it, it comes from within. “That they are not conscious decisions but unconscious ones, so we get them to have more time and space in the competition, with more time and space to act. The less you think, the less time you spend on execution. Automatisms are created. Everything gets faster. Every action. Passes, controls, balls to teammates.
The foundation of everything is the habit, “the persistent behavior generated from repeating actions, situations and attitudes”. Something that rests on the individual (“technically with and without the ball”) and the group (“offensively and defensively”). Attitudes, qualities and values cradled on the banks of the Bernesga, at the feet of the Pulcra Leonina But how?, Adrián answers without a doubt, immediately, without thinking, the method also in his subconscious: “Through the repetition of situations, of actions, with specificity (working tasks based on a game model, how we want our teams to play) and contextualization (positioning tasks in the places where they happen on the pitch)”. Correct, correct, correct. Until having polished that Leonese DNA that fills the lower categories of the Cultu. This week, the Cultu has just transferred a 17-year-old goalkeeper to Real Madrid.
700 exercises in the Magna program
Because this is a method that is fixed from the earliest ages. “To be able to settle all the contents.” A very solid and iron base to be able to grow on it, every year, every season. “That’s why it’s important that footballers come to work as young as possible, to carry out this linear and continuous learning.” That culturalist DNA that grabs all the coaches and club players. everyone plays the same. All with one goal. Leon players in the elite. Players in the first team.
“In football in the 21st century, it is no longer just physical and emotional training, it increasingly has a broader scientific base,” says Adrián. With structures, types of tasks, profiles of more methodical coaches. Guardiolas, Klopps, Mous. A photo of Liverpool has gone viral in recent days. Players with heads full of cables, everything measured, controlled. Bordalás’ Europa League Getafe trained under Mossad’s big data methods. “We have to be clear, yes, that the player’s talent cannot be measured. That profile Messi, Neymar, that highly developed talent, on the street, hours and hours, are totally different things”. That escapes the metrics. But there is much that can be “manufactured”. And that is where the culturalist method works. It is not only Marbella de Granero that has set its sights on it. Asturias, Palencia, Poland. In all those places, León and the Cultu are on the map. “We are expanding our method.” A methodology with more than 700 exercises ordered by age, from 4 to 18 years old, as a white paper, in a computer program, Magna, where all the technicians make their training plan, even from their mobile.
La Cultural, a nursery for players like La Masía, the Athletic philosophy. “A quarry job, squeeze and exploit the club in conditions. Aspire is a great diffuser of everything we do”. Soccer players prepared to function in any type of soccer. “We like to be aggressive, vertical, with the ambition to reach the goal, with associations and combinative play. He prioritizes the team, the pure zonal defense, something that is not normally defended like that. Strong, intense players”. The Cultu academy at the head of all categories. Juvenile, Territorial, cadets, children. Where before there was nothing, now there is that DNA that does not stop growing. The first team of the Cultu is already full. All its lower categories. That method that has changed everything. And it does not stop taking Leonese to the elite.