Real Madrid have overtaken their Spanish rivals Barcelona as the club with the most productive academy. Barcelona have slipped in those rankings behind Madrid in the list with La Masia not producing the same kind of talent anymore.
According to UEFA’s definition of the most productive academies, players from the ages of 15-21 who have trained with the club academy and are currently playing for teams in the top five European leagues.
The CIES football observatory have published the latest rankings keeping in line with UEFA definitions in their latest issue of rankings for football academies. The organization have included the statistics until the 1st of October of the current season.
Real Madrid have the most number of academy graduates this year with 41 players in total coming out of the academy in the last year. 34 of those players are currently plying their trade in other clubs while 7 are still in Madrid.
Barcelona had 37 graduates from their academy who are currently playing in the top 5 leagues and Manchester United are third with 34. The former two were at the top in last year’s rankings but have now dropped below the Spanish supergiants.
In terms of players who have made it in the 31 top division leagues in Europe, Ajax lead the way with 72 players in total coming out of their academy. The next best is Partizan Belgrade with 61 players with Madrid coming in 4th in that particular list.
Here is the list of the top 10 academies in the top 5 leagues:
|Rank||Club||Players at the club||Players at other clubs||Total|
Zidane’s trust in youth paying off
Real Madrid were not known for promoting youth in the past but since Zidane’s arrival, there seems to be more focus on giving youngsters a chance in the first team. The UCL holders have seen the likes of Marco Asensio, Lucas Vasquez and others breaking into the first team.
They have made a positive impact as well in the last few months. Vasquez has also signed a new contract with the club which is a good sign that they are changing their ways and Zidane deserves a lot of the credit for this step forward