Top Soccer (football) academies in Europe for Foreigners

Europe is recognised as the top place for the development of football talent around the world. Every player, regardless of how much talent they possess, begin their career in a youth academy, where they learn and improve as a player. At the academies, a football player learns all techniques and characteristics, and the quality of the academy they enter could have a significant impact on their career. A good football academy develops and shapes a player to become the world’s next big thing. This is also where a youngster learns about the realities of football and the game’s professionalism. This article enlightens you on the top football academies in Europe, so you can make an informed decision.

Before going further, it may be advisable for you to know how to join a European football academy.

How can I join a European football academy?

Getting scouted while you play football: A good place to start is by joining a local team of any level. However, it is the least likely one because you need a lot of luck. You will constantly have the opportunity to demonstrate your talents and abilities while playing. If you stand out from the crowd, have unique skills that set you apart from the competition, and perform well on the soccer field, there is always a potential that someone may notice you and want to sign you. Your team’s coach may know individuals or have a history in football with valuable contacts, so if you make it evident that you are extremely talented for the current level, your coach will often recognise and assist you. Amazingly, this occurs frequently since small-club coaches want you to succeed and pursue a career in football.

Get a football Agent: Agents’ role, like that of football scouts, is to aggressively seek football talent and place them with a soccer team. Agents, unlike soccer scouts, also handle other aspects such as contracts and pay. This is usually where they will collect their money. But, returning to the point of joining a football team, agents are persons who have many contacts. So, if you impress an agency, they can set up trials or football scouts to come to see you play. Because this is the nature of their job, they are usually very willing to do so. The fact is that most agents work with high-level clubs, and there aren’t many that work with lower-level clubs. As a result, it will be tough for you to join a club with their assistance. Do not fret! This website contains a comprehensive list of football agents around Europe. 

Contact the club yourself: There are three easy ways to accomplish this:

  • Obtain a copy of the club’s email.
  • Obtain the contact information for anyone who works at the club.
  • Have an agent or someone in the club who knows people.

There’s a chance you’ll get a response if you send a simple, well-written email with your facts, information, and, most importantly, a video. However, keep in mind that this is the least likely of all the options to enter a football academy. However, it is a fantastic opportunity to join a football academy for free and avoid paying any agent fees.

Join a popular football academy: A professional academy can help you improve as a player while also doing the legwork of finding you a team. In contrast to the previous point, this is the most likely approach to get into a European Pro Football Club Academy.

football academy in Europe

Which are the top Soccer (football) academies in Europe for Foreigners?


This academy will undoubtedly be well-known. La Masia is the world’s most well-known and recognised football academy. The academy has produced some of the best players in the world, including Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, and Xavi. After all three of them were chosen finalists in 2010, the academy became the first to train three Ballon d’Or finalists in a single year. The academy prepares the players in such a way that when they are promoted to the first team, they have no trouble adapting to a new style of play because they have been taught in that manner. This strategy has aided them and led to their rapid rise to fame.

Some of the top graduates: Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Carles Puyol, Victor Valdes and Gerard Pique.

La Masia football Academy

Alicante Football Academy

Alicante is a football academy that recruits foreign players for Spanish clubs and then develops them into champions. Coaches and players from all around the world hold UEFA Pro licenses at the academy. To properly prepare players for the field, training is conducted in the Spanish football style. In essence, the soccer academy takes advantage of top-notch football facilities in Alicante to help the youngsters grow. Additionally, players get access to high-quality training pitches, a contemporary gym, and a luxurious apartment. On an interpersonal level, they also build and develop player skills and abilities. Alicante is undoubtedly one of Europe’s top football academies, despite its lack of popularity.

Alicante Football Academy

SL Benfica

Benfica, along with Porto and Sporting, is one of the major three in Portugal’s Primeira Liga. They are one of the most successful senior teams in Portugal, and a large part of their success can be credited to the high quality of players that have emerged via its academy and gone on to play for them. In recent years, Benfica Juniores has produced a slew of match-winners, many of whom have gone on to play at the highest level. This academy has produced two of Manchester City’s best players, goalkeeper Ederson and midfielder Bernardo Silva.The youth academy of Benfica also included Victor Lindelof, Joao Cancelo, and Guncalo Guedes. Benfica’s high-profile academy has delivered a new generation of Portuguese youth to the club, including Helder Costa and Renato Sanches.

Some of the top graduates: Bernardo Silva, Ederson Moraes, Andre Gomes, Joao Cancelo, Renato Sanches, Goncalo Guedes and Victor Lindelof.

SL Benfica football academy

Spain Soccer Academy:

Spain Soccer Academy is a Seville-based international top football soccer academy. It also accepts international student players between the ages of 14 and 23. Spain Soccer Academy is a coaching academy as well as a player academy. Football coaches can now participate in internship programs. Furthermore, the academy hosts Exchange Programs that bring together studies and football on a global scale. Students can also be accepted through trials or video applications. It is an excellent educational institution for foreign students.

Some notable graduates are: Mark Gonzalez, Juanito, Dani Martin Alexandre, Ricardo Oliveira, Sergio Garcia, Beñat, Jose Mari, Javi Lopez, Toni Doblas, Alvaro Cejudo, Lombán, Cañas, Sergio León.

Spain Soccer Academy

NF Academy

NF Academy is a joint venture with NFPM, a player management company based in Portugal. They connect players with NFPM so that they can be represented and sign a professional deal with a Portuguese team. This academy acts as a consultant to help players develop to their full potential. They then work with the club to plan trials and competitions for professional contracts with top academies and teams. Every year, the National Foundation awards International and Regional Scholarships. They also help athletes grow and construct career paths that lead to professional contracts with elite academies. As a result, they are considered one of Europe’s greatest football academies. They also hold training sessions with renowned overseas academies to provide players the opportunity to be scouted.

NF football Academy

Atletico Madrid

Los Rojiblancos’ Academy is without a doubt a world-class academy that has produced a slew of outstanding players. Gabi and Fernando Torres, club legends and idols, emerged from here and went on to make a name for themselves in the football world. David De Gea, the best goalkeeper on the planet, is one of the many high-profile personalities to have come through Atleti’s youth system. Apart from him, several of their current players have come through the ranks of this academy, including Saul Niguez, Koke, Thomas, Rodri, and Lucas Hernandez. Even fierce rivals Real Madrid breached their agreement with Atleti to purchase one of their promising young player, Theo Hernandez. If the academy continues to produce players at its current level, the club may not need to hunt for players on the open market.

Some of the top graduates: Saul Niguez, Koke, David De Gea, Lucas Hernandez, Rodri, Fernando Torres and Gabi.

Atletico Madrid Academy


Ajax has always been a club that has encouraged and helped young players develop into integral members of the team. They’ve built a reputation for having one of the greatest academies and implementing their own practice methods over the years. The TIPS model, in which T stands for Technique, I for Insight, P for Personality, and S for Speed, is one such technique. It’s a novel model, but one that has shown to be quite beneficial to Ajax. One of the main reasons for Ajax’s success is that they never overlook tiny details and constantly put their full attention on everything. They use a stringent scouting strategy and spend a significant amount of time observing players before bringing them in.

Some of the top graduates:Edwin van der Sar, Johan Cruyff, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Kluivert, Wesley Sneijder and Christian Eriksen.

ajax football academy in Europe

Valeo International Academy

VIA is also one of Europe’s top football academies. They have their headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal. The Football Academy collaborates with top academies and coaches to provide youngsters with world-class training. Valeo also finds, nurtures, and trains young soccer talent from the United States and around the world who aspire to play international and first-team European football. They also provide players with the possibility to play professionally in Europe. At Valeo, every training session is aimed at improving a player’s technical, tactical, physical, and psychological abilities. Players must be between the ages of 17 and 23, which is a good age to expose them to numerous professional Portuguese clubs. The academy, like others, allows students to train with professional clubs around the world. Valeo provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate with international young clubs while maintaining their academics. They also work to improve their athletes’ academic performance and totally immerse them in the Portuguese culture.

Some of the top graduates: Deco, Nani, Luis Figo, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Valeo International Academy

MSM Football Academy

MSM is one of Europe’s best football academies. They bring in young kids from all around the world to educate them on how to play football in the Czech Republic. Another institution that assists young footballers in becoming European experts in the academy.

The Football Academy has worked with top Czech clubs, renowned coaches, and agents from all across Europe for over ten years. Sparta, Slavia, Dukla, Bohemians, Viktoria, Meteor, and Aritma are just a few of the many names. MSM places a high value on quality. They buy training equipment from well-known companies, provide excellent service, and hire professional coaches. MSM Football Academy offers open training programs in which anyone, expert or novice football players, can participate. Additionally, they offer cultural, historical, and language courses, as done in most European academies. The Czech Football Federation and the SC “Sparta Prague” work together to develop young players.

Some of the top graduates: Taras Kacharba, Vladislav Erkhov, Valery Blazhko, Tretyakov Artyom, Oleg Osipenko, Danilo Shelest.


What kinds of jobs are available in the soccer industry?

Jobs in journalism, coaching, direct work with athletes, event management, and broadcasting are all available in the soccer industry. This diversity allows people with a wide range of interests to discover what they enjoy and pursue a profession that matches their values and ambitions. Here are some careers in the soccer industry to consider, along with their average salaries and primary duties:

Sports writer

A sports journalist writes stories for newspapers, magazines, websites, and other publications about soccer and other sports. Sports writers are expected to meet deadlines, perform research, and report to an editor. In addition, sports journalists write with a high level of accuracy and professionalism.

Average salary: $31,365 per year.

Sports anchor

A sports anchor works for a media outlet and broadcasts information to a live audience, including plays, player motivations and decisions, the condition of the game, trades within the game, and more. They frequently provide live game updates while remaining in a studio. Sports anchors can work for both small and major national broadcasting companies.

Average salary: $31,825 per year

Soccer Referees

A soccer referee is in charge of keeping track of games and ensuring that participants adhere to the game’s laws and regulations. A referee keeps viewers up to date on plays, decides when a game should stop, and declares a winner.

Average salary:  $36,673 per year

Soccer Coach

Soccer coaches are in charge of instructing and mentoring footballers. Coaches operate as team leaders by guiding players through exercises, practices, and games. They can also assist with the scheduling of a team’s games and practices. Coaches, above all, hold players accountable for their on-field productivity.

Average salary: $47,093 per year.

Athletic scout

New players are found and recruited by an athletic scout. To evaluate whether a player is fit for a position on a team, a scout looks at their history, natural skill, previous injuries, and other factors. Athletic scouts frequently visit colleges to observe and assess players’ fitness for professional sports. Athletic scouts are frequently used by professional sports teams to identify talented young athletes.

Average salary: $61,890 per year.

Available jobs in the soccer industry

The European leagues are the most famous and desired professional leagues worldwide.  Everyone aspires to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo or Mason Greenwood. But who says you can’t go above and beyond? There is a way when there is a will. You can achieve these heights if you really want to. 

Your journey should be sped up with this knowledge of Europe’s top football academies. In addition, are you looking to work closely with athletes, spend your workday outside and advance your career in the athletic industry?  You may apply for any of the jobs in the soccer industry as highlighted above. 

Do you know of any other top football academies in Europe? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.

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