Top 10 Best Football Academies in Europe

You might think Barcelona have the best academy in Europe but they only finish fourth, interesting new research has shown and British clubs are nowhere to be seen.

Ajax have the most prolific academy in Europe for producing young talent while Manchester United (17th) are the only British club to even crack the top 20.

The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) conducted a survey of Europe’s most competitive 31 leagues last year and found 69 players who had been coached at the Dutch club.

Four-times European champions Ajax were followed by Partizan Belgrade, Hajduk Split and Barcelona with Sporting Lisbon and MTK Budapest level in fifth place.

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CIES considered a “club-trained player” to be someone who had spent at least three seasons with a team between the ages of 15 and 21.

In Ajax’s case it included Nigel de Jong (AC Milan), Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg SV), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray), Urby Emanuelson (Fulham), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur), Gregory van der Wiel (Paris St Germain) and Maarten Stekelenburg (AS Roma).

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