La Liga giants Real Madrid top the list of Europe’s most productive youth academies in a study conducted by the CIES Observatory in Switzerland. 

 

The Centre internationale d’etude de sport (CIES) in Switzerland have recently released two lists of the most productive youth academies in Europe. The first list only takes into consideration academy products that are currently playing in Europe’s top five leagues, while the second includes 31 top division leagues in Europe.

The legendary Ajax academy tops the latter list, but Real Madrid have the most number of youth products (41) playing in the top five European leagues. Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio and Casemiro are part of seven players still playing for Los Blancos, while 34 have left the club.

Barcelona come in a close second, with a total of 30 players playing in the top five leagues. They too have seven of their youth players who are still at the club, including the likes of Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

Manchester United have fallen upon some hard times of late, but their youth academy is still producing some top talent. 34 players from the youth academy are plying their trade in the top 5 leagues, with the likes of Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard among six who are still at the club.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Bobby Devyne of Chelsea battles Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the FA Youth Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on April 20, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Bobby Devyne of Chelsea battles Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the FA Youth Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on April 20, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo courtesy – Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon and Basque club Athletic Bilbao complete the top five. AS Roma has the best youth academy in Italy, with the Serie A side coming in seventh on the list. Spain dominate the list of top ten youth academies with four clubs, followed by France, England and Italy, who have three, two and one representative clubs respectively.

Arsenal have had a tradition of producing some good players in their recent history, with manager Arsene Wenger renowned for his ability to develop young players. They are the only other Premier League club in the top 10, with a total of 22 players playing in the top five leagues.

Their North London rivals Tottenham are interestingly the next Premier League club on the list. However, Spurs are down in the joint 23rd position along with French club AS Nancy.

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