Players who have developed through the Barcelona or Real Madrid academies are far more likely to have careers in Europe’s Big 5 leagues than players developed anywhere else in Europe.
In a ranking of teams only Manchester United made it from the Premier League into the top 10 of clubs whose young players continue their careers in Europe’s top leagues.
Spanish clubs dominate the ranking with six clubs in the top 10. “Barcelona tops the table with 69 footballers trained fielded in the big-5 by 55 different teams for a total of 319,224 minutes. Behind the Catalans are their great rivals Real Madrid: 69 footballers trained, 44 different clubs, 304,052 minutes,” says a report from the CIES Football Observatory.
The analysis looks at the training clubs of players in big-5 league matches over the past five years with a ‘training club’ defined as one where players have been for at least three seasons between the ages of 15 and 21.
The rankings are then created by adding up the minutes played in the big-5 leagues since January 1st 2014 by all of the footballers trained per club.
“The best-ranked clubs for the remaining big-5 leagues are Olympique Lyonnais, VfB Stuttgart and AS Roma. The greatest contributors outside of the countries hosting the five major European competitions are River Plate, Sporting Clube, Boca Juniors, Ajax and Feyenoord. In total, 1,370 teams have trained players fielded in the big-5 during the last five years,” says the report.