Gap year/college term in Barcelona

full-immersion International Football training
(For 17 – 20 Year Olds)




This is a program designed for passionate footballers. You will train hard, face challenging Spanish teams, get fit, and maximize your potential on the pitch. If you are ready to improve your football IQ, then this program will serve you well. We love our football here in Spain and we enjoy taking it seriously.


Gap Year or College Term?

Intensive Football, customized academics

Our student athletes are serious about their football training. Recent high school graduates may choose to follow our GAP Program with built in language and sport business courses. College level athletes may want to compliment their intensive training with on line college or university courses. In both cases, we offer a productive balance between football and academics.


Gap Year Students

Stronger, Faster, Smarter

Take time to immerse yourself in a foreign culture and to advance both your football and academic options. Upon departure you will be better prepared to take the next and best step as an athlete. You will also become a well-prepared and mature student. This GAP program will open up many positive options for you.


College Students

Intelligent Training

You will want to develop yourself fully on and off the field. You will train to become a footballer and you will study toward a degree. You may come one term or one season. Either way, you will be better positioned to take your next step.


The TOVO Vision

Developing intelligent footballers and global-minded leaders

Through a dynamic blend of football, academics and cultural immersion, TOVO Academy will inspire and develop the player and the future leader in you so that you can embrace the challenges of an increasingly interconnected world with optimism, creativity and excellence.  



Experience elite football in a footballer’s paradise

TOVO is a rare opportunity to train, learn and excel in a way that very few student-athletes ever experience in their lifetime. Our multidisciplinary program is designed to develop creative and competent leaders on and off the field, while encouraging them to enjoy every moment of that process in a footballer’s paradise. Our focus is football, but our goal is growth. When you add our off-field programs in language, business skills and culture, you are suddenly looking at an incomparable experience! 


The TOVO Difference

Total Football from the Source

TOVO is based on Total Football, played and taught by Johan Cruyff throughout his brilliant career. In a style where eleven players contribute systematically to both offense and defense, players utilize both divergent and convergent thinking to create and execute solutions. This can only take place when the brain recognizes patterns and possibilities at game-pace. TOVO Training methodology promotes a logical progression of exercises that directly construct the conditions under which you will need to perform. This learner-based program uses pattern recognition and geometric forms to simplify the complexity of the game and teach you the secrets to greater vision, precision and pace.  

Each exercise within our training portfolio is designed to help you find solutions to challenges presented by opponents.


Follow Your Passion

Do what you love most

At TOVO we want you to pursue your passion for football with full focus and all of your energy. The best way for us to make that happen is to treat you like a professional. We eat together, study together, and train together under the optimal conditions for your growth and development as a player and as a person. In the end, we want to send you onto your next destination prepared for future challenges on the field and far beyond. 


TOVO Leadership & Coaches

Learn and train with our experienced professionals

Our leaders and coaches share two things in common: rich international experience and unbending commitment to educating and developing young people to their fullest potential. All TOVO team coaches have vast experience working for professional academies in Spain, the Netherlands, and worldwide:

FC Barcelona
Ajax Amsterdam
Ado Den Hague
Chivas Guadalajara
Mamelodis Sundowns

Cruyff Institute
Austrian Football Federation
US Soccer Federation
KNVB Dutch Federation
Los Angeles FC

Discover more about our leadership and coaches on our about page.


The TOVO Football Ecosystem

An endless supply of rivals at all levels

There are over 100 football clubs within a 30-minute drive of Barcelona. These clubs represent a rich fabric of football micro-cultures, styles and philosophies. Our rich experience in the Catalan football ecosystem gives us access to all of these clubs, be they 1st Division clubs, 2nd Division clubs, Regional clubs or Local clubs. Throughout our season of friendly matches and tournaments, we carefully select the rivals that best suit our training level and focus at any given moment. That is to say (and no mincing words here) if we need a rival to give us a 7-0 lesson in humility, that rival is a phone call away. If we need a lighter match to work on some new tactics against a lesser rival, that match will be organized. The vast majority of TOVO matches are played against challenging clubs against whom we must play very well to beat. And we DO play to win! 


Off-Field Programs

far beyond football

When not fully engaged in football on and off the field, we make sure that your experience with us is challenging and productive by offering you a high-level personal development program:

Core Business Skills
The Cruyff Institute’s Sport Management Fundamentals is a blended course that serves as a perfect introduction to the world of professional and business competency. Through real case studies from the world of sport, our student-athletes master the basic concepts and skills necessary to navigate the strategic and operational aspects of management in any sector. Key benefits include:

  • Learning 3.0: flexible schedules, diverse learning environments and technologies
  • Interaction with expert faculty and industry professionals
  • Collaborative tools, teamwork, communication, and debate
  • Industry oriented: training for the business side of sport
  • Learning from experience: designed for professional improvement

Spanish Language Courses
With 9 months in Barcelona, you have a legitimate shot at becoming fluent in Spanish. The Rassias Method® is a unique approach that increases language retention and has you speaking and understanding in a greatly reduced amount of time compared to other similar programs. Originally developed for Peace Corps training by the late Professor John Rassias of Dartmouth College, this method places you at center stage and replicates the relevant, life-like situations you will encounter in daily Spanish life. The emphasis throughout is spoken language and familiarity with the local culture. Classroom techniques are rapid-paced, theatrical, highly creative, imaginative and full of positive reinforcement.

Cultural Immersion
Living, studying and training in a new environment is one of the great strengths of the TOVO experience. Being exposed to new sensations, languages and cultural norms will require you to reflect, manage your responses, and learn to react in ways that help your adaptation and personal growth process. Working on intercultural competence can also equip you with valuable flexibility, emotional intelligence, and team-building strategies for your future career in football and, later, in the real world. The TOVO Intercultural Orientation is delivered during the first week of training in September so that we can equip you with the personal resources you need to maximize and enjoy your year in Spain.


College & University Program

Pathway To A Diploma

For athletes who wish to advance their college or university studies while with us, we offer full support. In this way, the College Program becomes an advanced study abroad program. Students may choose a full academic year option or decide on a 1st term or 2nd term option.

Access to on-line college and university courses
Opportunity to earn credits toward a degree
Balance between intensive football training and academic requirements
Student oriented: freedom to follow your own academic interests


TOVO's Home in Sitges, Spain

Europe's greatest cities at your doorstep

The coastal town of Sitges is a prime location for TOVO Academy, not only because of its idyllic setting by the Mediterranean but also because of its proximity to Barcelona. Here are some flight times from Barcelona:

Madrid - 1 hour
Bilbao - 1 hour 20 minutes
Seville - 1 hour 30 minutes
Paris - 1 hour 30 minutes
Berlin - 2 hours
London - 2 hours
Amsterdam - 2 hours
Rome - 1 hour 45 minutes


Get Started with TOVO

A few quick answers, and you're on your way!

Name *
Gender *

About the TOVO Gap Year or College Term Abroad Program
One fee, full load, no hidden expenses

Many players have commitments to summer work or club/summer league play. Our program dates are designed to align well with the Spanish operational schedule while accommodating your best interests. The Gap Year Program begins in September and conclude in May. The College Term Program gives you choice between the Fall term or the Spring term.

All TOVO programs are taught in English.


Ages: 17 to 20

Full Season Program
September 19, 2017 to May 19, 2018

College Term Program (Fall)
September 19 to December 15, 2017

College Term Program (Spring)
January 7 to May 19, 2018

To apply for this program, there is a non-refundable Application Fee of €50. To keep your place on the program, a non-refundable Registration Deposit Fee of €1500 will be required. The Registration Deposit counts toward the program fee.

All programs include:

Football Training
On field training
Talent development workshops
Competitive matches
Personal diagnostics
Skills screen
Video analysis
European coaching staff
Official TOVO Program Certificate

Academic Program
Cruyff Institute Sport Management Course
Spanish language course
Academic tutoring & support
College and career counselling

Cultural Program
TOVO intercultural orientation
Barcelona city tour
FC Barcelona Museum tour
FC Barcelona match
RCD Espanyol match
Museum visits
Catalan professional & youth club visits

Training Gear
2 training jerseys
2 pairs of training shorts
5 pairs of training socks
1 polo shirt
1 training sweat suit
1 training kit bag

Room & Board
Residence accommodations
Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
24-hour staff assistance
Airport transfers (arrival and departure)

Flights are not included.

How to Apply
Applying to TOVO Academy Barcelona is simple. We will ask you for six things:

  • Completed application form
  • €50 Application Fee
  • Validated high school transcript
  • Game video
  • Character reference
  • Skype interview

You can pay the Application Fee here:

Spanish Visa Requirement
For non-EU/EEA residents, you will need to apply for a Spanish Student visa in order to study with us in Spain. This is a 2 to 3 month process, which we will help you navigate. However, we advise you to start the application process early.

English Language Requirement
All TOVO on-field and off-field instruction is in English, and you must be able to understand instructions.


If you have questions about the TOVO Gap Year Abroad program, you can contact us at: