Top 21 academies in the world, 2017

 

 

With Financial Fair Play and an abundance of nationality quotas to fill, football clubs are becoming more and more concerned about starting up their own production line. As youth development won’t be included in European clubs’ spending limits, they can pump the money that they would have spent on inflated transfer fees on developing the next crop of wonder kids instead. Some clubs already have the very best facilities in place, while others have scrambled to catch up – Manchester City, for example, who spent £200 million to construct a new home for their ‘Elite Development Squad’ back in 2013.


Here are 21 of the best football academies around the world, providing best facilities and full-time proper football academies.

 

Pachuca (Mexico)

DIVISION:
LIGA MX
FOUNDED:
1901
REPUTATION:
CONTINENTAL
MEDIA PREDICTION:
6TH
TRAINING FACILITIES:
SUPERB
YOUTH FACILITIES:
SUPERB
JUNIOR COACHING:
GOOD
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED

 


Anderlecht (Belgium)

DIVISION:
JUPILER PRO LEAGUE
FOUNDED:
1908
REPUTATION:
NATIONAL
MEDIA PREDICTION:
1ST
TRAINING FACILITIES:
SUPERB
YOUTH FACILITIES:
SUPERB
JUNIOR COACHING:
GOOD
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
EXTENSIVE

Southampton (England)

DIVISION:
PREMIER LEAGUE
FOUNDED:
1885
REPUTATION:
NATIONAL
MEDIA PREDICTION:
10TH
TRAINING FACILITIES:
SUPERB
YOUTH FACILITIES:
SUPERB
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED

Feyenoord (Holland)

DIVISION:
EREDIVISIE
FOUNDED:
1908
REPUTATION:
NATIONAL
MEDIA PREDICTION:
3RD
TRAINING FACILITIES:
SUPERB
YOUTH FACILITIES:
SUPERB
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED

 


PSV (Holland)

DIVISION:
EREDIVISIE

FOUNDED:

1913

REPUTATION:
NATIONAL

MEDIA PREDICTION:

2ND

TRAINING FACILITIES:
SUPERB
YOUTH FACILITIES:
EXCELLENT
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED

Bayern Munich (Germany)

DIVISION:
BUNDESLIGA
FOUNDED:
1900
REPUTATION:
WORLDWIDE
MEDIA PREDICTION:
1ST
TRAINING FACILITIES:
SUPERB
YOUTH FACILITIES:
SUPERB
JUNIOR COACHING:
GOOD
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED

 


Real Madrid (Spain)

DIVISION:
LA LIGA
FOUNDED:
1902
REPUTATION:
WORLDWIDE
MEDIA PREDICTION:
1ST
TRAINING FACILITIES:
SUPERB
YOUTH FACILITIES:
SUPERB
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED

FC Porto (Portugal)

DIVISION:
LIGA NOS
FOUNDED:
1893
REPUTATION:
WORLDWIDE
MEDIA PREDICTION:
2ND
TRAINING FACILITIES:
SUPERB
YOUTH FACILITIES:
SUPERB
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED

Ajax (Holland)

DIVISION:
EREDIVISIE

FOUNDED:

1900

REPUTATION:
NATIONAL

MEDIA PREDICTION:

1ST

TRAINING FACILITIES:
SUPERB
YOUTH FACILITIES:
SUPERB
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCEPTIONAL
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
EXTENSIVE

FC Red Bull Salzburg (Austria)

DIVISION:
TIPP3 BUNDESLIGA

FOUNDED:

2005

REPUTATION:
NATIONAL

MEDIA PREDICTION:

1ST

TRAINING FACILITIES:
SUPERB
YOUTH FACILITIES:
TOP
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED

 


FC Barcelona (Spain)

DIVISION:
LA LIGA
FOUNDED:
1899
REPUTATION:
WORLDWIDE
MEDIA PREDICTION:
2ND
TRAINING FACILITIES:
SUPERB
YOUTH FACILITIES:
TOP
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
EXTENSIVE

RGUOR Minsk (Belarus)

DIVISION:
LOWER LEAGUE

FOUNDED:

REPUTATION:

MEDIA PREDICTION:

TRAINING FACILITIES:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH FACILITIES:
TOP
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCEPTIONAL
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
EXTENSIVE

INF Clairefontaine (france)

DIVISION:

FOUNDED:

1988

REPUTATION:
NATIONAL

MEDIA PREDICTION:

N/A

TRAINING FACILITIES:
STATE OF THE ART
YOUTH FACILITIES:
SUPERB
JUNIOR COACHING:
GOOD
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED

Shakhtar (Ukraine)

DIVISION:
VYSHCHA LIHA
FOUNDED:
1936
REPUTATION:
CONTINENTAL
MEDIA PREDICTION:
1ST
TRAINING FACILITIES:
STATE OF THE ART
YOUTH FACILITIES:
TOP
JUNIOR COACHING:
GOOD
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED

ONES TO WATCH – UNDER 21 TALENTS

Denys Arendaruk – 16.04.1996 – AMR/ST – Winger – Est. Value €700K
Giorgi Arabidze – 04.03.1998 – AMRL/ST – Inside Forward – Est. Value €700K
Andriy Boryachuk – 23.04.1996 – AMR/ST – Winger – Est. Value €750K
Viktor Kovalenko – 14.02.1996 – M/AMC – Shadow Striker – Est. Value €14.25M


Tottenham (England)

DIVISION:
PREMIER LEAGUE
FOUNDED:
1882
REPUTATION:
WORLDWIDE
MEDIA PREDICTION:
6TH
TRAINING FACILITIES:
STATE OF THE ART
YOUTH FACILITIES:
TOP
JUNIOR COACHING:
GOOD
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
ESTABLISHED

Man City (England)

DIVISION:
PREMIER LEAGUE
FOUNDED:
1880
REPUTATION:
WORLDWIDE
MEDIA PREDICTION:
1ST
TRAINING FACILITIES:
STATE OF THE ART
YOUTH FACILITIES:
TOP
JUNIOR COACHING:
GOOD
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
ESTABLISHED

Manchester City’s new City Football Academy is one of the newest football academies in top football. Officially opened in 2014, the latest State of the Art training facility costed £200M according to Mirror. The billionaire owner, Sheikh Mansour, has invested heavily to make the club the best in the world. If we look at the clubs’ youth facilities and training facilities the club are on their way to put AFC Ajax, FC Barcelona and the Portuguese trio down from their throne, but quite not there yet.

While the list of Manchester City graduates who have taken the world stage is currently minimal the reality for us Football Manager fans will be quite different in the following seasons. With top youth facilities we can expect a range of promising talents and future wonderkids coming through the youth intake in the years to follow. For now, you are fortunate to get excited about tenth of promising talents.


Chelsea (England)

DIVISION:
PREMIER LEAGUE
FOUNDED:
1905
REPUTATION:
WORLDWIDE
MEDIA PREDICTION:
3RD
TRAINING FACILITIES:
STATE OF THE ART
YOUTH FACILITIES:
TOP
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
ESTABLISHED

While Manchester United profit from a higher level of youth recruitment, Chelsea FC features a better junior coaching rating. What may favor Chelsea in Football Manager 2017 is the amount of 5-star coaches and a more experienced head of youth development staff in Neil Bath. Historically speaking, Chelsea has not yet produced the same amount of world class players like what Manchester United have done in George Best or Bobby Charlton.

You can argue that football has changed dramatically since then and that Chelsea has done all the right steps to develop future club legends on their own. When the 2016 Summer Transfer Window closed, a record high 38 players were out on loan2 out of the 101 players attached to the club. Compared to Man City who got 105, they are 4 short! The latest talents to the highly-rated youth academy of Chelsea is former AFC Ajax youngster Juan Familia-Castillo and Polish Marcin Bulka, who both got lots of potential to succeed.
If we also include Dominic Solanke, Trevoh Chalobah, Kenedy, Jeremie Boga, Charly Musonda and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Antonio Conte has a range of football wonderkids to pick from in the years to come.

ONES TO WATCH – UNDER 18 TALENTS

Jay Dasilva – 22.04.1998 – D/AML – Wing Back – Est. Value €700K
Dujon Sterling – 24.10.1999 – DRC/WB/M/AMR – Winger – Est. Value €46.5K
Juan Familia-Castillo – 13.01.2000 – M/AMC – Advanced Playmaker – Est. Value €325K
Tammy Abraham – 02.10.1997 – ST/AMR – Defensive Forward – Est. Value €5.75M


Manchester United (England)

DIVISION:
PREMIER LEAGUE
FOUNDED:
1878
REPUTATION:
WORLDWIDE
MEDIA PREDICTION:
4TH
TRAINING FACILITIES:
STATE OF THE ART
YOUTH FACILITIES:
TOP
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED

While Man City has a world class setup with their current squad of youth academy players, which counts of nearly 450 players in real life.

Fortunate for the Red Devils fans who can profit in the years to come being able to replicate the Class of 92 in Football Manager 2017, simply because of the top youth facility and excellent junior coaching. Class of 92, who gave us club legends like Ryan Giggs, the Neville brothers, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and David Beckham, almost everyone of them from the North West region of England. Now it may seem like most of the Under-21 players at Manchester United exists of players that have been brought to the club via their well established youth recruitment program and great scouting knowledge. The dream of re-creating the legendary class of 92 featuring all local talents may seem like a distant dream.

Luckily the truth is different. Put your faith in Callum Gribbin, the wonderkid who were born in the same town as Paul Scholes, Salford, local Manchester talents Ro-Shaun Williams, latest youth star Marcus Rashford and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and try the challenge of recreating a class of 2016.


Sporting Lisbon (Portugal)

DIVISION:
LIGA NOS
FOUNDED:
1906
REPUTATION:
WORLDWIDE
MEDIA PREDICTION:
3RD
TRAINING FACILITIES:
STATE OF THE ART
YOUTH FACILITIES:
SUPERB
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
EXTENSIVE

A close call between the two Portuguese rivals. A minor difference in the quality of the coaching staff and in the level of youth facility and junior coaching made Sporting Lisbon this years runner-up. The youth academy of Sporting can be labelled as a world class institution. Three times award winner of the prestigious Ballon D’Or, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Luis Figo, Eric Dier, Paulo Futre, Simão Sabrosa, Luis Boa Morte and Ricardo Quaresma are just some of the fortunate players who have received their football education at the Sporting Clube de Portugal Youth and Academy. Last season, Sporting CP were one of few clubs in Europe who fielded 11 youth rank graduates.


Arsenal (England)

DIVISION:
PREMIER LEAGUE
FOUNDED:
1954
REPUTATION:
WORLDWIDE
MEDIA PREDICTION:
3RD
TRAINING FACILITIES:
STATE OF THE ART
YOUTH FACILITIES:
TOP
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
WELL ESTABLISHED
Arsenal are another club who are very adept at snapping up talented youngsters and developing them into fully-fledged superstars under their wing. Like Porto though, the North Londoners have also produced a number of very good players themselves. Since the days of Tony Adams and Andy Cole emerging from the club’s academy, a long line of others have joined them, these include; Ashley Cole, Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Seb Larsson and Armand Traore. The most notable recent youth product, though, is Cesc Fabregas, who having joined the club at the age of 16, qualifies as their own academy graduate.

 

SL Benfica (Portugal)

DIVISION:
LIGA NOS
FOUNDED:
1904
REPUTATION:
WORLDWIDE
MEDIA PREDICTION:
1ST

At the top of the list we find Sport Lisboa e Benfica – a Portuguese club with a long and proud history. The academy, also known as the Seixal after the region it is located, it has served Europe with a range of talents, while also leading the club to become the most successful club in Portugal with 79 trophies in their 112 year long history. Monaco’s rising star Bernardo Silva and Bayern Munich Renato Sanches are some of the graduates. Former Ballon D’Or winner Eusebio stands out as their biggest star of all time. He can also be described as a Benfica product since  the age of 18. Other former talents who have been part of the youth academy of Benfica at some point are; Lazar Markovic, Angel di Maria, Andre Gomes and prolific striker Nuno Gomes.

Benfica’s training and youth facilities in Football Manager 2017 can only be described as phenomenal. With an extensive youth recruitment and exceptional junior coaching it has the best foundation for receiving a wealth of promising talents at the annual youth intake, while also being able to develop them into future world class players with top youth facilities and a large pool of 5 star coaches and backroom staff.

TRAINING FACILITIES:
STATE OF THE ART
YOUTH FACILITIES:
TOP
JUNIOR COACHING:
EXCELLENT
YOUTH RECRUITMENT:
EXTENSIVE

ONES TO WATCH – UNDER 18 FOOTBALL TALENTS

João Felix – 10.11.1999 – M/AMC (RL) – Advanced Playmaker – Est. Value €36K
Ze Gomes – 08.04.1999 – ST – Advanced Forward / Poacher – Est. Value €170K
Florentino Luis – 18.08.1999 – DM – Defensive Midfielder – Est. Value €29.5K
João Filipe – 30.03.1999 – AMRL – Inside Forward – Est. Value €40K


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