TOP 10 BEST FOOTBALL ACADEMIES IN THE WORLD 2018
The game of football, also known, for the sake of disambiguation, as association football, is one of the most popular sports in the entire world. This sport which is played between two teams of 11 players including the goalkeeper has brought joy to the hearts of many fans and even non-fans, the world over. Fans of association football are known to be one of the most passionate sets of fans in the world of sports and for good reason. Before looking at the best football academies in the world, its good to know that the game has evolved from the simple game of kicking, dribbling, throwing, heading and scoring that it was at the beginning, to a way of life.
Footballers these days who, based on their hard work and dedication, have made it into the big teams, are known worldwide and are veritable celebrities in every sense of the word. These men and women have honed their skills through training and endless exercising, in order to fashion themselves into the brilliant players that they are today, bringing joy to millions of fans the world over, every football season.
In the country in which it originated from, The United Kingdom, this glorious sport is known as football, while in the United States and Canada, it is known as “Soccer”. Some other countries like Australia and New Zealand call it by both names. All in all, whether it is known by one name or by the other, true fans can attest to the feeling of unbridled joy that they get when they see their favorite players come to prove their mettle on the pitch.
Best Football Academies In The World
Association football is played under various competitions both for football clubs and for countries. Usually, Football clubs are pitted against other football clubs from their own country, however, there are some exceptions. Swansea City F.C and Cardiff City F.C which are both clubs from Wales, usually participate in the English league games and even in the English FA Cup as well.
Association football bodies such as UEFA and FIFA are responsible for organizing competitions internationally between different clubs, as well as different countries. UEFA Champions League is an example of a popular league in which different clubs participate in while the World Cup competition is an example of a football competition participated in by countries.
The world’s most popular sporting event, surpassing even the Olympic Games in popularity is the FIFA World Cup competition which happens every 4 years.
Whether it is in the streets, among friends and children of the neighborhood, or on the international fields, in well-known stadia, one can always feel the togetherness intense spirit in every football game, calling for dedication and complete devotion.
Football Academy – What is it?
A football academy, more accurately described as a youth academy, is a club which signs multiple youngsters into their ranks and begins to teach them various football skills which they will need if they hope to attain the club’s standard and enter into the club’s first team sometime in the future.
These clubs recruiting power is usually restricted to just youngsters in the club’s locality, however, bigger clubs such as Chelsea and Real Madrid have been known to recruit from amongst foreign talent.
A youth academy grooms the young football player from the very start of his or her career. These academies are tasked with the duty of recognizing this talent early in life and nurturing the talent, imbibing in the player, the skills, and discipline required for professional football. Hard work and determination will usually see to it that a player reaches the first team eventually.
Aside from this grooming function, they also play the role of maintaining and preserving the main club’s traditions and principles.
This article aims at listing the top ten academies worldwide who are considered the best and will be responsible for ushering in the next generation of superb and world-class football players.
List of Top 10 Best Football Academies In The World 2018
1. FC BARCELONA:
For players who hope to become truly world-class players, this academy, La Masia, is most likely the best one to enroll into. When one examines the number of world-class footballers that have been produced by this academy, one cannot but respect them for their dedication and training which they impart to the players. They are also very notable for maintaining the traditions and values of the club and instilling the philosophy of “Total Football” into each and every player that has been fortunate enough to pass through.
Some great players that have been produced from this academy are Lionel Messi, arguably the best player that the world of football has ever seen, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, and Iniesta as well.
2. MANCHESTER UNITED:
This team’s principle of nurturing and bringing out superb footballers can be traced back to the time of the Busby Babes. Sir Alex Ferguson, who is regarded worldwide as one of the best managers ever, also did his part, during his 25-year tenure at the club, in making sure the tradition of nurturing talented youngsters was maintained.
Some notable alumni of this academy include Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Pogba, and Gary Neville amongst others.
This football club came into being in the year 1990 and has since done its part, contributing heavily towards the training and production of top-class players. The notable players which they have nurtured and produced have gone a long way in making de Godenzonen the most successful of all the Dutch football clubs in football history.
Some notable alumni from this academy include Clarence Seedorf, Johan Cruyff and Patrick Kluivert amongst others.
4. BAYERN MUNICH:
Like many of the academies on this list, Bayern Munich has done its part towards contributing to the production of world-class footballers to grace the pitch. As a means of aiding the tradition of the club, they always bring in players from the academy into the main team rather than making use of the transfer market and spending heavily.
Bayern Munich, just last year, opened a new youth academy which is worth about 64 million pounds. Some of the big guns produced by this academy are Franz Beckenbauer, Thomas Muller, Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck and so on.
5. BOCA JUNIORS:
This academy, fondly described as the Boca Factory was established in the year 1910 is one of the best football academies in the world. Rather than investing in the transfer market, this club has followed the principle of investing in nurturing youngsters with talents to rival and beat those available for transfer. They scout very thoroughly through the small villages and towns in Argentina and this helps them discover hidden talent from every nook and cranny all over the country.
Some notable alumni include Fernando Gago and Carlos Tevez.
6. RIVER PLATE:
They were established in the May 1901 and emerged 9th in the FIFA’s best club of the century ranking. River Plate is regarded as the most successful club in all of Argentina. When it’s time to scout for talent, they move into the streets searching for raw talent and gems to fashion into legends of the pitch. The gameplay they focus mainly on is the small-sided variety including the 2v2, 3v3 up to the 5v5. They also favor the 4v2, 4v3 and 5v2 which works towards making their players special and used to tight situations.
It is worthy of note that they youth team always tours through South-American countries looking for different youth tournaments to participate in.
Some notable alumni are Alfredo Di Stefano and Herman Crespo amongst others.
7. SPORTING CP:
This club is famous for being the premium talent development academy in all of Portugal. Sporting CP, among the best football academies in the world, has produced two Ballon d’Or winners, namely Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo and keep producing talented players relentlessly. They also contribute to the national squad immensely.
Notable alumni include Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best players that have ever graced the football pitch, Luis Figo, Eric Dier and Nani amongst others.
The day that brought us the sinking of the Titanic, 14th April 1912, also brought us the creation of FC Santos. Their penchant for producing world-class talent has earned them worldwide repute. This entry would not be complete without mentioning that Pele, the man who gave football the name, “The Beautiful Game” and one of the greatest footballers in football history, was produced by this academy. Other notable alumni include Robinho and Neymar.
About 50% of the players that make up this club’s first team were players that passed through the academy. How is that for being confident in your training ability?, making Southampton ninth on our list of the best football academies in the world 2018.
Some of the talented alumni produced by this academy include Luke Shaw, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Gareth Bale and Alan Shearer amongst others.
10. SCHALKE 04:
The club may not be one of the best in the world but the youth academy boasts of a good number of talented players in its history.
Some notable alumni from this academy include the likes of Mesut Ozil, Manuel Nuer and Julian Draxler amongst others.
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CONCLUSION ON BEST FOOTBALL ACADEMIES IN THE WORLD
There are great players who have emerged to the world stadium without passing through academies, but that does not in any way take away from the importance of these academies.
Aside from the chance to learn from the experience of those who have passed through the game before them, players also have a reasonable incentive, beyond mere love for the game, to encourage them to put in their best effort.
Hopefully, with the current generation of footballers nearing retirement, the pitch will be graced by talented players, produced by these academies amongst others.
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