The Best football academies around the world.

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by pwip, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. pwip

    pwip Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    Hello, I've just started researching the best academies around the world.

    Can someone shares some opinions and links to stories?

    I guess at this point " Best " means which academy has produces the most Pro players but that might be a naive definition.


  2. erick

    erick Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Location:
    Mex/argentina
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Country:
    Argentina
    check atlas from mexico...

    guardado and rafa came from there.

    they produce the best talent for mexico (except ochoa0

    also boca junior's is good
  3. Cassano

    Cassano Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2004
    Club:
    AC Milan
    Country:
    Italy
    In Italy-

    Juventus
    Inter
    Roma
    Atalanta
  4. Cool Rob

    Cool Rob Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago USA
    Club:
    Flamengo Rio Janeiro
    Country:
    United States
    IMO the best is France's Clairfontaine Academy that has produced Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka, Louis Saha and William Gallas; I think its the main reason why France has won over the past 10 years. The place is lush, opulent, and no joke.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/02/post_10.html

    My favorite is the legendary Ajax academy although it hasn't been great recently. The Barca academy La Masia is doing some amazing things; Messi, Bojan, Dos Santos, Fabregesc, seemingly stocking half of Europe. There was an article about it in a recent "UEFA Champions League" magazine.


  5. Big Soccer Member

    Big Soccer Member New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    Club:
    Newcastle United FC
    Country:
    England
    West Ham, Man United, Ajax, Boca Juniors, Sao Paulo, Cruzeiro and Barcelona have traditionally been among the best. But recently only Barcelona and Boca Juniors have produced well recently. Lyon, a couple of Turkish Clubs, Bayern Munich have also been great. Clairefontaine has produced nothing for 10 years. Manchester City and Middlesbrough currently have the best in England.
  6. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 1999
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Random thoughts:

    -- Traditionally, Man Uted produced plenty of talents. But since the "Beckham+ Neville+Scholas" golden generation, the club is not producing. Even SAF acknowledged their academy is not doing well since the Golden generation.

    -- Ajax is probably the best. Almost all the all great Dutch players graduated from their academy. You should list the ones who did not graduate. It is easier that way. :)

    -- In recent years, Sporting Lisbon produced a number of great wingers, namely Figo, CR7, Quaresma , C.Ronaldo , Nani.

    [youtube]2E_4aDXKM00[/youtube]

    -- Barcelona is also doing well. In the last 10 years, Real Madrid seemed weak as compared to Barca. However, traditionally, Real Madrid is on par with them. I guessed many players in La Liga went through either Real Madrid or Barca. The same applied to Argentina's Boca Junior and River Plate.
  7. billgrant88

    billgrant88 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Location:
    England
    With my claret and blue specs firmly resting on the bridge of my nose, in England it's West Ham.

    Being less illustrious than Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea should put us at a major disadvantage when it comes to signing up young kids but it doesn't appear to. I suppose it comes down to the fact the West Ham have always been a side that played football how it should be payed - on the ground with a smile on the face. That philosophy isn't really evident at this time, which is one of the reasons Curbs hasn't been warmed to. We have been described by journalists throughout history as the team of the football connoisseur and a side who's style of play is intellectual and artistic. Again you won't here it much nowadays but it's one of the main reasons we do get to snap up the kids, whose parents are aware of this tradition. That and the massive catchment area, where West Ham is a very well supported club (sometimes I think to the surprise of many up north). Also noting the fact that all of our previous boards have regarded the club as a mere shop window with little to no ambition of winning trophies.

    Players and managers from West Ham's academy in English cup finals between 2007 and 2008

    Joe Cole (CL, CC, CS)
    Michael Carrick (CL, PL, CS)
    Rio Ferdinand (CL, PL, CS)
    Glen Johnson (FA, CS)
    Jermaine Defoe (FA if not cuptied)
    Frank Lampard (CC, CL, CS)
    Harry Redknapp (FA)
    Paul Ince (JPT)
    Daryl McMahon (FAV)
    Lee Boylan (FAV)
    Mitchell Cole(FAV)
    Ishmael Welsh (JPT)

    I don't think many clubs could match that.

    Now, if only we could improve our training facilities...
  8. johan neeskens

    johan neeskens Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Ajax up until five years ago. They're now no longer the best youth academy in the Netherlands even.

    I also think we should set some criteria. The best youth academy in my view is not the academy that produces the most superstars, but the academy that successfully produces players for its own first team.
  9. jus2nang

    jus2nang Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    North London
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Country:
    Ghana
    I'd strongly disagree with that as then most lower league clubs (who can't afford to buy) would then be "the best" under that criterion.

    Clairefontaine is the obvious choice, although whilst an academy it's not an actual club.

    Clubs that spring to mind are:

    Ajax
    Arsenal
    ASEC
    West Ham
  10. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2003
    Arsenal?

    Stealing players from other youth academies and then claiming them as your own is not producing qualityyoung players.

    Who have Arsenal produced recently of real quality?

    Bentley? Sidwell?
  11. johan neeskens

    johan neeskens Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Well with that you've proved my point. Having the financial resources to buy Europe's best under 18s is not testament to having a good youth academy in my view.
  12. johan neeskens

    johan neeskens Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    It's getting scary how much in agreement I am with you these days Comme. Arsenal have no right to claim Van Persie, Fabregas, etc. as they were already excellent players before they arrived in London. What Arsenal ARE good at is at scouting young talent on the continent.

    A truly excellent youth academy scouts talent in their region and develops them to the level that they can play for the first team and end of the day sell them on at a profit. What level that first team plays in is irrelevant in terms of judging the quality of a youth academy.
  13. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2003
    Not as scary as it is for me. :eek: God, we're agreeing again. ;)
  14. johan neeskens

    johan neeskens Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Oh and I just wanted to add: the best youth academy in the Netherlands currently is that of Willem II. With NEC and Twente second and third.
  15. canadianscout

    canadianscout New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    I will list the academies that I have visited most frequently recently. In order of visits.

    1) Santos Futebol Clube - Brazil
    - 31 visits in 5 years.
    2) Club Atl├ętico River Plate - Argentina
    - 27 visits in 5 years.
    3) Club Atl├ętico Boca Juniors - Argentina
    - 17 visits in 5 years.
    4) FC Schalke 04 - Germany
    - 11 visits in 5 years.
    5) Cruzeiro Esporte Clube - Brazil
    - 9 visitis in 5 years.

    Santos FC and River Plate have been by far the most consistent clubs producing good talent. I would say they produce the most raw skill but still very unpolished rounded play. All around development with the best finished product for me, although I usually stick to the America's, has been Schalke, of late.
  16. megamac20817

    megamac20817 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Location:
    Buenos Aires
    Club:
    CA River Plate
    Country:
    Argentina
    I'd argue that River is certainly amongst the best in the world when it comes to producing talent. In the past 10 years, we've produced such gems like Saviola, Cavenaghi, Buonanotte, Aimar, Mascherano, etc.

    EDIT: Although I'd like to add that lately Lanus has been doing spectacularly well with its academy, winning a tournament with a team made up largely of its academy graduates.
  17. Big Soccer Member

    Big Soccer Member New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    Club:
    Newcastle United FC
    Country:
    England
    Not sure if it has been mentioned. Pretty much every Ivorian player came from one club, ASEC Mimomas.
  18. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 1999
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    I also agreed with you two about Arsenal. These young guns at Arsenal were finished products and bought onto the first team. They were not from their academy.

    At the same time, isn't true that the big academy also bought talents from the weaker teams and put them into their academy? I heard that River Plate and Boca Juniors are so successful because they bought almost every talented players in Argentina. In the end, almost everyone in Argentina came through their systems. The academies were unsuccessful because they cannot complete against the big clubs. I admitted not knowing enough on the topic. This is actually a question.
  19. comme

    comme Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2003
    Arsenal BTW are meant to have a couple of decent products of their own.

    I think Randall, Gibbs and Lansbury are meant to be prospects, but not enough to merit discussion in this thread.
  20. Fonsos

    Fonsos Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2000
    Location:
    Chicago
    Amen!!!!
    It's a known fact that Wenger abuses the rule for signing professionals at a young age. One of his first signees when arrived at Arsenal was stealing Anelka from my beloved PSG youth academy. FYI, I'm a Wenger fan but he's notorious for stealing young players.

    Exclude Clairfontaine from this discussion. It's a national training center and a completely different monster and in a good way.

    Top clubs in France lately are: Lyon (goddamn factory these days), OM, PSG (Factory in the making). I'm three of the many clubs in France that actually develops the kids from the first time they sign a contract - Nasri, Benzema, Ben arfa are just a few of the recent ones you've heard about and the scary thing is that better is on the way.

    Actually,
    under Bob Bradley, the Fire did a fine job of developing young talent - see DaMarcus Beasley and Carlos Bocanegra. Add into the mix Michael Bradley (MetroStars) and even Brad Guzan (Chivas USA, i.e. Fake Chivas) that's pretty damn impressive in such a short period of time and under the tutelage of one manager.

    Fonsos
  21. pwip

    pwip Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Location:
    Dallas
    there was a news story I saw once referencing an academy or school in S. America or C. America. They were in the mountains and kids all around the world come and train. Some kind of old school technique they made famous. any clue?
  22. Beazley17

    Beazley17 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    Country:
    United States
    Ajax has a great youth system. Produced great American footballer John'Obrien!!! Too bad he was always injured, had a great 2002 World Cup which we made the quarters, and clubs such as Barca were after him. But Ajax wanted to build around him.
  23. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 1999
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    It sounded liked the Tahuichi Academy in Bolivia.
  24. johan neeskens

    johan neeskens Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    I don't know about Argentina but overall the way things are set up over here is that football clubs traditionally scout in their own region. The Netherlands is a small country though so you'll find clubs fighting over talent esp in regions densely populated with football clubs. Ajax and PSV for example both scout in Utrecht - Marco van Basten and Wesley Sneijder were born and raised in Utrecht, as was PSV's Afellay, but FC Utrecht lost out on them for obvious reasons: the attraction of a bigger club. Things are changing now though, particularly as the traditional top three feel would rather buy a footballer that's already mature enough for the highest level than invest time in developing homegrown talent - Ajax right now has only four players from its youth academy in their starting XI, and all of their forwards are recent buys. This has made Dutch youngsters realise that they've more of a chance of first team football with their local team in the early stages of their career. Which is already impacting the youth leagues which were previously dominated by Ajax but not anymore. There's also a trend for Belgian and German youngsters to join a Dutch youth academy by the way. The youth academies of Dutch border towns like Tilburg and Enschede both scout across the border.
  25. dor02

    dor02 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Club:
    UC Sampdoria
    Country:
    Italy
    Atalanta, Juve and Roma are amongst the best. Some of Juve's players still have to prove themselves but at least Roma can say that Totti, Aquilani and De Rossi start in their matches.

    Inter isn't too bad but they don't give them ago. They love Argentines too much but guys like Acquafresca and Andreolli are good players. Balotelli has come out with a bang and he has stood out more than the other two.

    Barca has the best ATM but Sporting would have to be up there considering the players they have produced.

    Ajax's academy would have to be the greatest-ever academy though. Gullit is undoubtedly the best player not to have come out of their ranks.

Share This Page