The development of young talent is often at the forefront of football discussions, with dispute constantly running over which clubs spend heavily in their academies and those who choose to overlook the quality of homegrown talent. Footballers devote time to learning the skills that make them extraordinary and unique on the pitch from a very young age. There are millions of academies in the world but only a few are known for producing some of the best minds and legs in the game of football. The influence and doors of opportunities that football academies have opened to young players have fast proved that football academies are crucial in building talents to superstars.
With transfer fees increasing season after season, youth academies have grown greatly in value. Academies remain the lifeline of small clubs and act as a huge moneymaker for larger clubs. Thus, youth academies have become better funded, and scouts recruit players at younger and younger ages. In this article, we uncover the top-5 best football academies in the world, known for producing exceptional and excellent talents.
5. Sporting Lisbon
Sporting CP’s academy is still considered to be one of the best in the world even though not many Sporting youngsters have moved to big clubs in recent times. The Sporting C.P. Youth Academy has established themselves as the hub of talent development in Portugal. Some legendary players have come out of Sporting’s academy and have won many trophies with other clubs. The facilities are a crucial reason why many European clubs prefer to train at the academy in the off-season.
The scouting system of Sporting is one of the best in the world and the academy currently has young players of different nationalities. Stats have shown that at least seven Sporting players are in the Portugal national squad in all age groups. In Portugal's 2016 Euro Cup-winning campaign, the Verde e brancos produced a whopping 10 of the 14 players from the squad that faced France in the finals.
Notable Alumni: Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Quaresma, Nani, Joao Moutinho, Eric Dier.