3) Bayern Munich
Bayern’s junior team was created in 1902 and it has since produced uncountable great players. It might not be quite possible to list all of them here in this article but a few notable graduates of the academy are Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels, and David Alaba. The World Cup 2014 winning squad of Germany also had various players who were from the Bayern junior team. The vision of the team quoted as it is “to educate young players so that it will be possible for FCB to keep a global position in club football in the next millennium” and the way they are delivering I’ll have to say they are living up to the potential of their vision.
2) Ajax Youth Academy
Founded in 1900 Ajax’s youth academy is surely among the oldest and the best youth football academies in the world, producing young talents for a long time now. They produce players who are technically and mentally well trained. Their learning is fundamentally based on the famous TIPS (Technique, Insight, Personality, and Speed) model. Ajax youth academy currently stands second (with 77 players) among the academies having trained the most players active in top divisions of UEFA member associations according to CIES. Legendary players like Johan Cruyff and Dennis Bergkamp were the graduates of this academy. Even in the modern world of football Ajax have many renowned academy trained players like Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek, Christian Eriksen, etc.
1) FC Barcelona (La Masia)
Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernández, Andres Iniesta, Pedro Rodriguez, Sergio Busquets, Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique and I can go on if you like but that is enough to make you understand that Barcelona have the best football academy in the world. The players mentioned above are the legends of the game and every academy dreams of having such brilliant academy graduates in their squad and even nowadays Barcelona have some of the best academy young talents in their squad including the rising superstar Riqui Puig. In 2010, La Masia became the first youth academy to have trained all three finalists for the Ballon d’Or in a single year – Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi, and Xavi. In November 2012 the club had the privilege to have all 11 players on the field, as their starting lineup, who were their academy graduates.