The Best Football Academies in Europe

Student or school football clubs are a widespread practice that helps find and train new football stars. This article has selected the most famous clubs, academies, and schools in Europe that teach the best professionals. These academies differ from the usual ones, as they only have a few educational assignments, such as physical and team training. So if you are interested in taking some football lessons, be sure your deadlines are done or use services like writance to help you get through the overload. 

Ajax (Amsterdam). Netherlands


Ajax is the most titled club in the Netherlands, and its academy is the most famous in the world. The purpose of the school of “Jews” is to form young inexperienced players into top football players; only the best will succeed after a long and challenging path. Ajax partly depends on players from its academy.


The youth teams train in the same way as the main team, so they are already used to the style of play of the “sons of God.” “Ajax strives to keep its style of play attractive, recognizable, creative, fast, and fair. The club has developed the so-called TIPS model: Technique, Insight, Personality, and Speed.

“Ajax” has a comprehensive system of talent search: in South Africa, “Ajax” cooperates with the club of the same name from Cape Town, and in Greece, in 2011, a network of schools and academies “Ajax” was opened. The most famous graduates of the academy: Johan Cruyff, Edwin van der Sar, Patrick Kluivert, Wim Kieft, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, Dennis Bergkamp, Louis van Gaal, Rafael van der Wart.

Schalke (Gelsenkirchen). Germany


Football club “Schalke 04” is one of Germany’s most famous football clubs. Knappenschmiede is the name of the youth academy of Gelsenkirchen and the quality mark of German football. In this school, young talents are formed and trained for professional football.

The goal of the Knappenschmiede is the optimal development of young people, to help young players step toward the leading team. To provide education, Schalke Academy cooperates with different types of schools. There were personnel changes to support the development of young players in Knappenschmiede in the 2011/12 season. The youth department is now divided into two sections: 9 – 15 years and 16 – 23 years. The transition to the second section means the beginning of sports competitions.

Knappenschmiede relies on coaches with as much experience as possible. “The Schalke academy does an excellent job. The club does not need to be afraid about its future. Strong players will come from there again and again,” said German Schalke midfielder Max Meyer. The most famous graduates of the academy: are Manuel Neuer, Julian Draxler, Mesut Ozil, and Benedikt Howedes.

Celtic (Glasgow). Scotland


Celtic Academy aims to develop Champions League-level players for the first team, and it works with boys from 5 years old. During their first years at the academy, players focus on technique, passing, and ball possession, learning new tricks and improving their skills.

The success of the Celtic methodology depends on the cooperation, dedication, and patience of every staff member. The philosophy of the “stripes” is based on trust, respect, teamwork, and genuine faith.

West Ham United. England


West Ham Academy is considered the best English children’s sports school. The young forward of the team, Tony Carr, 1972, was injured and began to coach. Later he gave way to a sufficient number of young players. In 1994, Carr did everything possible to ensure the perfect work of the Hammers academy.

“Our football academy is regarded as one of the best in Britain, as evidenced by a large number of academy graduates in the national team,” said team spokesman James Saban. The most famous graduates: are Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Harry Redknapp, Michael Carrick, and Bobby Moore.

Dinamo (Zagreb). Croatia


Academy of Dinamo Zagreb is one of the most successful football schools. Its youth is recognized worldwide, especially in the last decade. The academy has many talented football players who show their level at national and international tournaments. Currently, the school has about 250 registered players.

The most talented players from the U-17 and U-19 teams have the opportunity to prove themselves in games for the leading group. The most famous graduates are Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Vedran Čorluka, Eduardo da Silva, and Niko Krančar.


Barcelona. Spain


Football club “Barcelona” – one of the most titled clubs in Spain and the world. “La Masia” (“Masia” – from Catalan “farm”) is the academy of the Catalan club. It is known that the “blue-garnet” focus on their pupils, who are adequately trained and educated in “La Masia.” The academy was created by the famous pupil of “Ajax” Johan Cruyff.

Young players start studying at the academy at the age of six. By the way, parents of young talents do not pay for training, and the club bears all costs. In November 2012, in the away match against Levante (0:4 – ed.), 11 pupils of Barcelona took the field at the same time. In the 14th minute, Martin Montoya came on the field instead of Dani Alves.

The composition of the Catalans, thus, was as follows: Valdes, Montoya, Puyol, Pique, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, and Fabregas. The most famous graduates: are Pep Guardiola, Cesc Fabregas, Carles Puyol, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, and Lionel Messi.

Sporting. Portugal


Sporting Club de Portugal is the most titled club in Portugal. “Lions” have their school called “Sporting Football Academy.” More than 6000 children from 5 to 14 years old learn to play football in Sporting Academy schools. The three main goals of the project are sports training, expansion, and talent discovery. The most famous graduates: are Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Joao Moutinho, and Nani.

Real Madrid. Spain


Football club “Real Madrid” is the most titled club in Spain. Real Madrid Academy comprises 13 teams of ages 7-8 to 17-18 years and 37 coaches. Scouts and coaches of the “cream” during the viewing primarily pay attention to the following:


  1. The technical equipment of the player.
  2. The ability to think and make decisions on the field.
  3. The presence of character and the ability to work hard.

The principal value of “Real” is the game itself. They think about the game more than the result. The most famous graduates: are Iker Casillas, Raul Gonzalez, Antonio Adan, Juan Mata, Alvaro Arbeloa, Roberto Soldado, and Diego Lopez.

Partizan (Belgrade). Serbia


Football club “Partizan” – the second most successful club in Serbia, has its football academy, which has no equal in the whole region. “Partizan” is famous for its work with young players; the club’s philosophy is to take care of the development and education of novice football players.


The youth school of “Partizan” is called “Belin – Lazarević – Nadoveza Youth School” (in honor of former players of the club Bruno Belin, Cedomir Lazarević, and Branko Nadoveza – ed.) It was founded in 1950.

The academy has about 400 students aged 10 to 18, divided into age categories and helped form personalities. This work requires proper organization, effort, will, patience, love, and understanding. All players of the academy are divided into six teams:


  • four play at the national level – players under 17, 16, 15, and 14 years old
  • teams consisting of players under 13 and 12 years old – at the city level.


Players under 12 do not participate in official competitions but in tournaments and friendly matches. The youth school “Partizan” has won the most significant trophies compared to its competitors. Over the past eight years, the youth teams of “gravediggers” participated in 61 tournaments. Sixteen times took first place, 10 – second, 12 – third. The most famous graduates of the Academy: Simon Vukčević, Milan Smiljanić, Stefan Babović, Nikola Gulan, Ivan Obradović, Miralem Sulejmani, Adem Lajić, Stevan Jovetić, Matija Nastasić, Igor Dulić,