YPT brings you the latest news and information from the worlds best academies

LISBON — The way they tell the story at Sporting Lisbon, they did not even have to watch Cristiano Ronaldo play to know he was special. Seeing him with a ball at his feet, the quiet, skinny 12-year-old’s every effortless touch proof of his masterly control, was enough.

Pretty much everyone at Sporting knows the tale, which is now part of the club’s folklore; pretty much everyone tells it in the same way, with a cadence and cast of characters seemingly straight out of the Nativity. It even features three wise men.

Some of the best players in the world have honed their skills at Portugal’s biggest club, educated in the four pillars of Benfica’s modus operandi,

Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix, Ederson, Andre Gomes, Fabio Coentrao, Nelson Semedo, Nemanja Matic, Renato Sanchez, Ramires, Axel Witsel, Rodrigo, Lazar Markovic, Enzo Perez, Victor Lindelof, Goncalo Guedes, Jan Oblak, David Luiz, Angel di Maria, Nico Gaitan, Ivan Cavaleiro, Nelson Oliveira and Joao Cancelo.

The Real Madrid midfielder gave an interview to Libero and spoke about the values he learned at the club’s academy and what it’s like to pull on the white shirt.

Casemiro has given an interview to Libero magazine about playing for Real Madrid Castilla and representing the club. The midfielder says playing for the club is the dream of any footballer.

The Real Madrid midfielder gave an interview to Libero and spoke about the values he learned at the club’s academy and what it’s like to pull on the white shirt.

Casemiro has given an interview to Libero magazine about playing for Real Madrid Castilla and representing the club. The midfielder says playing for the club is the dream of any footballer.

From the likes of World Cup heroes Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst to more recent graduates like Declan Rice and Grady Diangana, no shortage of work has gone towards harnessing top talents at the Academy of Football.

Now, driven by the vision of Academy Manager Ricky Martin, the operations at Chadwell Heath are all-encompassing as staff work to provide a platform for the next generation of Claret and Blue heroes.

Phil Foden has almost been too good for his own good at Manchester City.

So talented was he that Pep Guardiola quickly decided the youngster would be going nowhere under his watch. Having not played up the age groups in the academy to help his game and slight frame develop, Foden had been parachuted into the first team squad by the summer of 2017.

HE now gets stopped in the street by people saying ‘Oh my days’.

But it’s the long nights Jeremie Frimpong thinks back on.

The three buses to get to training at Manchester City’s academy. The hours standing shivering in the cold, wind and rain while he watched his team-mates being picked up.


Manchester United’s commitment to developing our own players – a tradition that would gift the likes of Best, Charlton, Edwards, Giggs and Scholes to the beautiful game – can be traced back to the 1930s, when club chairman James Gibson was the driving force.

Manchester United named an academy graduate in their matchday squad yesterday for the 4000th consecutive game.

Undoubtedly viewed as one of the most successful and prestigious football academies in world football, we take a look at which other clubs occupy a similar position, and continue to produce elite-level talent year after year. 

Here are the top 10 academies in world football.

Scott McTominay has revealed that he doesn’t like the rule that means youth players at Manchester United must wear black boots, but admitted that the rule is the reason for the academy’s success.

Nicky Butt has a unique way of explaining the role of Manchester United’s academy when it comes to turning a young footballer into, hopefully, one of the best in the world.

Man United celebrate 4,000 consecutive games with a youth teamer in a matchday squad this week and the MEN spoke to academy head Nick Cox.

Winners of five out of the last six Primeira Liga titles and mainstays in the Champions League, SL Benfica is Portugal’s most dominant and resonant team. But how it achieves and sustains that success is what makes the club uniquely proficient in its quest to maintain its status in the top flight of European and world soccer.

The academy of Barcelona has produced some of the greatest talents in world football.

On 20th of October this year, La Masia, the very renowned youth academy of FC Barcelona, reached 40 years since its foundation back in 1979. It was exactly 40 years ago when the Masia de Can Planes became the first-ever footballing residence in Spain.

Kalam Mooniaruck – Coaching coaches at West Ham United’s Academy of Football…

“Does how we coach lead to how we want to play? Or does how we play dictate how we coach?” 

The Man United striker has been one of several academy graduates to star in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team this season.

Philip Tallentire spent a day at Boro’s highly-rated Rockliffe Park Academy to find out how the club identify and develop talented young players

Middlesbrough Football Club have a well-deserved reputation for developing their own players.

The club’s Academy is rightly regarded as one of the best in the UK, if not Europe.

Manchester United were lucky to have a bunch of players together in 1992.

It was early 1992. Manchester United had gone 25 years without winning the League title. Their youth team had won the FA Cup that year and those group of footballers, popularly known as Class of ’92, were being compared to Sir Matt Busby’s ‘1950 Busby Babe Youth’.

Perhaps the most interesting part of an interview with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold this week was his recollections of how tough the club’s coaches were with him when he was trying to make the step from academy player to first-team regular.

The ex-football player, Àlex Delmàs, analyses the importance of teaching, transmitting and maintaining the seal of Barça football

“I kept seeing my friends get released. They had the ability to play in the lower leagues, but they didn’t have an agent, weren’t really connected and they’d fall out of love with football. That’s where the energy to create the app came from.”

Bluebirds want to see more Welsh youngsters given an opportunity in the first team, a more sustainable business model for the club which would also benefit Wales

​One of the greatest legends in ​FC Barcelona‘s history, midfield maestro ​Xavi Hernandez was something special. 

And now, a scouting report on the midfielder from when he was just 14 gives proof of how highly he was rated by Barcelona coaches.


Arsenal’s head of development has discussed how the club is looking at sides like AFC Ajax in its attempt to develop the next generation of players.

It looks as if Arsenal’s academy is currently going through an excellent spell with an impressive crop of young players.

The likes of Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, and Bukayo Saka have all come through Hale End at the same time.

Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy was founded on 20 October 1979, and we have seen some outstanding talents emerge from the system in the 40 years since.


EXCLUSIVE: Rooney is heading back to the UK after ending his spell with DC United in the MLS – and nine-year-old Kai is set for Man City

Sunderland’s academy director Paul Reid insists productivity, rather than results, must remain the focus of the Black Cats’ academy.

The Black Cats have come under some criticism recently for the poor results of their under-23s and under-18s sides.

The Premier League might boast seemingly never-ending riches and superstar players, but it is in Germany where the real action is happening on the field.

The Bundesliga could be in for a massive shake-up this season after seven years of Bayern Munich dominance, with just two points dividing the top nine clubs.

Head of the Manchester United academy Nick Cox has revealed the holistic approach to youth development at Old Trafford.

Butt reports directly to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and works closely with Nick Cox, who was promoted to head of academy in July having spent three successful years at the club following roles at Watford and Sheffield United.

Frank Lampard believes Chelsea are a long way from matching the long-term success of Ajax’s academy and has said that he is not getting carried away with his young side’s performances this season.

George Best, Sir Bobby Charlton, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham – four of the greatest names in the game, all reared within Manchester United’s fabled youth set-up and now helping to inspire the next generation coming off this prolific production line.

Manchester United’s under-23s team – which is full of 17-year-olds – have won seven, drawn one and lost one of their nine games so far this season. Granted they’re playing in the second tier after relegation last season (and results can be misleading at this level), but it is obvious the recent investment in the youth system is starting to pay dividends. 

European Cup (today’s UEFA Champions League) final 1992. Sampdoria and Barcelona were fighting for the silverware. If you judge that final with today’s situation then you’ll ask, Barcelona won by how big margin? But an attentive reader of football history knows it very well that 1992’s Barcelona wasn’t like it is today. That match was equally important for both of the clubs.

Bayern Munich have announced that they will install a ‘Skills.Lab’ football simulator at their youth training centre, the FC Bayern Campus, in order to help the club’s budding young stars hone their abilities and technique.

Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen used to tell Jesse Lingard to try to emulate Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta.

Lingard has had been on a terrible run of form, without a goal or an assist in this calendar year.

Meulensteen, who coached the 26-year-old in the academy for six years, has revealed how he used Iniesta as inspiration for Lingard.