Barca and Real top home trained players list but Arsenal have most still at the club

Champions League graphic

February 21 – Of the 16 teams left in the knockout rounds the Champions League, 86 of the 384 players registered (16 squads of 24 players) graduated to the first team via the academy of that club. However, 26 of those players were playing for different clubs than those that trained them.

The conclusion of the data compiled by the CIES Football Observatory is that overall the role of clubs’ academies have very little impact on the composition of their first teams. “The training and promotion of players from the youth academy is clearly not a priority,” says CIES pointing to four clubs – Leicester City, Juventus, Manchester City and Napoli – who trained less than three players at clubs in the last 16.

Barcelona and Real Madrid lead the list of most academy trained players with 11 and 10 respectively. At the bottom of the list are Manchester City and Napoli who trained just one player each and in Man City’s case that player is not even at the club (Kasper Schmeichel is playing at Leicester).

Arsenal lead the way in terms of having the most of their home trained players still at the club – seven. Barca, Real Madrid, Monaco and PSG all have six players still playing for them.

But even Barcelona appear to be losing faith in their academy. “Among the 11 players trained by Barcelona, six play for the Catalan side. The remaining ones play for five different clubs still competing in the Champions League: Benfica (Grimaldo), Dortmund (Bartra), Napoli (Reina), Bayern (Thaigo Alcantara) and Paris St-Germain (Thiago Motta). The youngest Barcelona’s product, Rafinha, is already aged 24. This tends to confirm the decline of La Masia,” says CIES.

View the CIES report at

Players trained by clubs in current Last 16 of Champions League

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Source: CIES Football Observatory

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