First Ever Real Madrid Training Camp Held In Fresno

“This has finally become something that I could bring here.” 


Eduardo Cuéllar found his love for futbol while growing up in Bolivia. Like many of the kids who grew up in this South American nation where the game is loved religiously, Cuéllar spent most of his childhood days outside, kicking the ball with his friends until sunset. 

Although life in Bolivia brought many challenges, futbol brought relief for Cuéllar and his peers. The game also shaped their character.

“When you’re younger, you’re afraid of the ball — when, like, a man kicks it at you or someone older that hits it hard,” Cuellar said. “But you get used to that. You get over it.”

In Bolivia, the word for perseverance is garra. 

“We call it garra in South America, which means claw, but it means to never give up,” Cuellar said. “Especially if you’re getting your ass kicked that’s when you have to try your hardest. Maybe it’s more of a theme of suffering because there’s just so much poverty in South America. But we deal with that with a smile on our face and trying to be classy and trying to be compassionate and treasuring family. So how could you not enjoy yourself when you’re playing that sport? Because that shouldn’t be a pressure. You’re playing, you’re healthy.That’s a privilege.”

Bolivia native Eduardo Cuéllar is continuing to share his love of futbol in the Valley.


As an adult in Fresno, CA, Cuellar is now sharing his love of futbol with young athletes and passing on some of the same lessons he learned from the game. This is why Cuellar opened his Edzfooty Football training academy in 2018. 

Part of Cuellar’s goal at the academy is to connect kids with some of the best coaches in the world and set them up for a bright future. This is why the Fresno trainer has already taken his young athletes to Spain multiple times. Even with some financial hurdles, Cuellar has stayed determined to take the athletes overseas and connect them with legendary clubs and trainers.

“I started taking my students, almost went broke the first time. I was just distraught, not sure if it was going to work out,” Cuellar said. “And I made connections, went back six months later, made a deeper connection.”

After networking in Spain, Cuellar recently organized Fresno’s first ever Real Madrid USA Foundation Camp, bringing coaches from Real Madrid’s academy to work with kids in the Central Valley. The event, which was held for five days in July, ended successfully despite the scorching Valley heat.

“So this was the first time, we sold it out, over 110 kids,” Cuellar said. “And so next year ought to be bigger, hopefully a little earlier in the summer because we dealt with that heat wave. So, yeah, super proud to bring that here because usually it’s a club that reaches out or builds a relationship. I have kind of gone like a reverse pioneer trip over there and through taking my own students over there and then building the relationship, this has finally become something that I could bring here.” 

When he first came to the U.S., Cuellar held a marketing job in a Silicon Valley-based company that moved its office to Fresno. What he really wanted, however, was to stay involved with the game he loves. The Bolivia native found his wish when a church member asked him to coach a girls team. Since then, he has been teaching fundamentals of the game to young futbolers and helping them build character through the sport.

While he’s happy with the opportunity to provide training for the youth, Cuellar said it’s just as important for kids to enjoy the game outside of training or competing. Looking back to his first impression of Fresno in 2008, Cuellar said he remembers seeing many young people who would play futbol in random places around town. Now, however, Cuellar said street-style futbol is dying off.

“The street soccer was a beautiful culture that still existed here in Fresno,” he said. “I used to go play at the parking garage near downtown, near the baseball park . . . Those things existed here, playing in the street. I literally saw it die off in the last ten plus years here. And now kids only play when they’re going to compete, which that’s not the traditional way you build a warrior.”

Cuellar still encourages a freestyle type of futbol in his academy. When he first received the offer to work as a trainer, however, Cuellar wasn’t sure if his style would be work well with kids in the U.S.

“At first I was like, I don’t know, I don’t know, that sounds even maybe like a waste of time,” he said. 

In the end, Cuellar decided to go forward with the opportunity and quickly felt a deep connection to his role.

“I love music, so it’s kind of like when you play music with someone, you know, in a few minutes if you have a connection or not. And I knew right away I was going to love it. So then got stuck in, did club coaching for about four years and then I had done training on the side along the way as an assistant coach. I was never a head coach. That gave me the flexibility to be a private trainer without any branding in the beginning.”

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