In a country where cricket is the dominant sport, the beautiful game of football is slowly making its way into the hearts of sports enthusiasts. With the rise of popularity of football in India, clubs from around the world have seen an opportunity to expand in a country that is deemed to be the fastest growing economy with the fastest growing population.
With Indian football still struggling to gain popularity, football fans in India have closely started to follow the major leagues of Europe, pledging their allegiance to some of the European Clubs. Manchester United, Liverpool, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich etc., to name a few have a large group of followers in the country.
Thus, a few major clubs have started to open their official merchandise stores, football academies and even announce tie-ups with Indian clubs in order to promote their club further, while they also hope to discover the hidden talent of football from the streets of India.
While there are many clubs who have explored the opportunity of a football academy in India, only are few have managed to open academies that have been successful over the recent part. Here is a list of five of the most popular football academies in India.
1) Liverpool – DSK Shivajians Academy
Liverpool F.C. are one of the most popular football clubs in India and also take immense interest in reaching out to their fans in the peninsular country. The club often posts photos aimed for the Indian audience with the timing of Liverpool games in IST as well as places around the country where you can watch the screening of the games.
Liverpool’s academy in India is located in DSK Dream City, Pune, Maharashtra.
The academy comes with a great accommodation, gym, cafeteria, swimming pool and of course, a state of the art football facilities. To register for the academy, one will have to fill up a form which can be found on the link below subject to which they will be invited for a trial.
The students who are selected into the academy will be charge a fee of Rs. 4.5 Lakhs per annum if they are Indian citizens and Rs. 5 Lakhs if they are from another country.
Contact: +91 20 66784186
2) Paris Saint-Germain Academy India
Paris Saint-Germain, a club with a rich history are slowly finding their way back to the top of European football in the past decade. Despite not boasting the popularity that clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United have, the French club has expanded rapidly in the last decade thanks to the introduction of world class players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Angel Di Maria etc.
PSG have their academies spread out around Delhi and Bangalore and have established partnerships with various educational institutions. Students aged between 6-16 will be trained by International coaches through camps in Gurgaon, Vasant Kunj (Delhi), and Bangalore. The cost for the camp is however not specified on the website. The link to register for the academy is given below.
Gurgaon/Delhi – +91 7042552020
Bangalore – +91 7829099928
3) FCBEscola Soccer School
FCBEscola is quite a popular football academy and anyone who follows the sport closely has obviously heard about FCBEscola. When the first FCBEscola opened in Delhi, there was a massive buzz around the country, especially for the younger age groups who wanted to enroll themselves in an attempt to realize their European dream.
It is obviously not surprising that the academy firmly believes in the Barcelona style of possession-based football. The academy aims to have its pupil play attractive, creative and offensive football showing off their flair. The academy is located in Gurgaon and selects only a very limited number of players.
However, they organize camps regularly which is open to all.
Contact: +91 9958788768
4) Boca Juniors Football School
The Argentine giants may not be as popular as their European counterparts but are surely known to be a team that has produced many great players. Diego Maradona, Carlos Tevez, Joan Roman Riquelme etc., players who are not only known as Argentina's best but also some of the world's best have made it through the Boca Juniors academy.
Boca Juniors have opened up training academies in both Bangalore and Mumbai giving youngsters the opportunity of world class training facilities in various localities throughout these cities. The academy also has tie-ups with clubs around India like Bengaluru F.C as well as a few clubs in Europe.
German club Hoffenheim had recently selected 6 of the player from the Boca Juniors academy for their residential program.
Bangalore - 080 49202025
Mumbai – +91 9004200200
5) Arsenal Soccer Schools India
Arsenal F.C is another club very popular for its fantastic youth system. Over the years, the Gunners have developed a number of talented players – the most recent ones being Jack Wilshere and Hector Bellerin (who also spent a large chunk of his youth with Barcelona).
Arsenal has its academies spread out over six states in the country including Delhi, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana and Maharashtra. Hence, the club covers a lot of the country. The programs aim to provide all-round training and conditioning to children aged between 5-17.
The Arsenal philosophy is a vital part of what the coaches intent to impart to their students.
Contact: +91 11 659 50004 / 651 30006