Continuing our footballing education across the ten best soccer academies in the world, we look at even more great seats of learning for young aspiring stars of the future. These excellent sporting faculties are all over the world and now we present the academies in Brazil, UK, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Santos F.C Academy
The greatest footballer in the world helped to establish this famous academy. Pele was integral to encouraging the youth of Santos to discover and nurture their footballing talent. The Santos Academy is slightly different than other academies we have studied in the respect that it is located in Estadio Urbano Cailderia, where of course the first team of Santos play their matches. Neymar, Diego, and Robinho came through the ranks of this academy and also studied at the impressive educational center that is also situated at the same facility.
Southampton F.C Academy
Situated on the south coast of England, Southampton F.C is one of the Premier League’s smaller clubs. It does not generate anywhere near the amount of revenue as the big English clubs therefore has to rely on home grown talent to exist. This academy has produced some of the finest young players at the top level, Adam Lallana, Theo Walcott, and Gareth Bale. The academy has one of the best scouting networks in the UK and has a state of the art match analysis theater to review performances.
The Junior Team of Germany’s premier club was founded way back in 1902, and legendary players such as Sepp Maier and Franz Beckenbauer once went there. The academy was completely remodeled in 1995 with a mission to ensure Bayern Munich joined the world elite of football.
This Lisbon academy is vast, covering a quarter of a million square meters. Christiano Ronaldo and Nani once learned their trade here and became national players for Portugal. The facility is state-of-the-art both for training and recuperation. Its major concern is to teach ethics in football as well as the physical side of the game.
The academy that produced Total Football is in Barcelona and is La Masia. Some fans call this unique brand of soccer mentality tika-taka and it refers to the intricate short passing game that Barcelona are famous for. Basically, it is a pass and move strategy with the focus on retaining possession of the ball. La Masia’s biggest accolade is that it produced three Ballon d’Or Finalists, namely Xavi, Andres Iniesta, and Lionel Messi.
AFC Ajax Academy
Ajax are the Netherlands premier soccer club and have been European Champions no less than four times. This incredible feat was largely due to the importance that the youth academy had on the senior club. The Ajax Academy produced Total Football, which was a strategy of playing every player in the different positions on the field. This gave the young players many additional skills that were ignored by other academies and allowed the senior team to change strategies frequently during the course of a game. Without doubt these great soccer academies have not only given the world gifted and talented players but have taken the sport to another level in terms of technical and mental skill.