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Top 5 European academies that have produced the most players - is Real Madrid or Barcelona no.1?

Rohith Nair
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 19 Dec 2019, 11:14 IST

As modern football slowly coalesces into a paradigm where buying and selling players ultimately defines the success of a club, there are some clubs that still hold on to that one beacon of hope that they will have a team made up purely of academy talents.

Raised through the club's system through the years, not every player makes the step up to the club's senior team, though. However, they do find success elsewhere.

So which club has produced the most number of players currently employed by clubs in Europe's top five leagues? We take a look at the top five clubs with data courtesy of CIES.

#5 Manchester United (Premier League)

Best football academy europe
Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are all Manchester United Academy products
"We can speak to parents honestly and say, look, we always give our lads a chance to play for the club; the pathway is there to play if they're good enough." - Head of Manchester United Academy Nicky Butt

Not many clubs can back up their words with action but Manchester United's academy is one of the best in Europe when it comes to producing players capable of making the step up to the senior team.

The club has a long history of always having an academy player in their squad - a streak that has now lasted 80 years. And even if the youngster doesn't go on to become a Red Devil, he still has opportunities elsewhere in England and Europe.

Currently, there are as many as 28 players who came up through the Manchester United Academy that ply their trade in Europe's top 5 leagues. Of the 28, five are still at the club in the current squad managed by Jose Mourinho, some of whom are now household names such as Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford.

Among Premier League teams alone, United Academy products racked up a total of 44,055 league minutes in the 2016/17 season. No other English club came close with Tottenham coming in second with 21,668 minutes - less than half.

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Published 23 Oct 2017, 18:37 IST
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