What are the best countries for football trials?
That’s the question several aspiring football players ask themselves while preparing to one of the most challenging experiences of their careers. To trial at a professional club.
At Soccer Interaction we understand how important this decision is. Players will have to assess different aspects and each one will have their preferences, but they should never disregard the idiosyncrasies of the country that they are traveling too. Is that country known for giving young football players a chance? Are the clubs giving opportunities to their academy graduates.
CIES – Football Observatory has released a study on the theme and Soccer Interaction International Academy Technical Staff went through the results.
It seems to be more and more obvious that over the past 25 years the trend of cutting regulations, both at a UEFA and National Federations level, has contributed to an increase of non club-trained players in first team squads all over Europe.
If we look over a period of 10 seasons we can see that the percentage of club-trained players has decreased from 23,2% to 18,4%, average. As the study concludes this is highlights both the high mobility of young football players and the lack of incentive for football clubs to keep
their youth talent.
The reality of football clubs currently
At Soccer Interaction we have been discussing this results. It’s very important for an international football academy to understand the trends in youth football development and to design football programs in line with the highest standards. We believe that the current strategy followed by elite clubs is not supported by results and we could even come up with several examples of football clubs who have been very successful on field in recent years with several club-trained players in their squad. Some examples are FC Porto and FC Barcelona, which during their golden period were able to play with several “canteranos” and win at a continental and intercontinetal level.
Soccer Interaction Technical Staff has been delivering professional football programs to aspiring football players from different backgrounds. It becomes quite clear which countries have been putting more efforts on their youth programs and that translates into a higher percentage of club-trained players in the first team squads.
As an example we can look at Spain. Highly regarded as having the best International Football Academies and Club Academies it comes with no surprise that the percentage of club-trained players performing at the highest leve lis well above average.
That doesn’t mean that all countries with a lower percentage of club-trained players in squads have necessarily bad youth programs. In fact Portugal is regarded as one of the countries with best youth programs. The likes of FC Porto, SL Benfica and Sporting CP are known for developing some of the most talented players in the world. 5 times FIFA player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo is a clear example of that and the 2016 European Cup Winners seem to be nurturing more talented players for the next decade, among them Bernardo Silva who is standing out at Guardiola’s citizens.
It’s also interesting to see how a low percentage of club-trained players in squads can affect the National Team’s performance. Italy has the second last worst percentage of club-trained player in squad, among the 31 countries in this study, and it might not be surprising to see that for the first time in 60 years Italy didn’t qualify for a World Cup. It was a shock for most football fans to see Italy out of 2018 World Cup but the lack of opportunities provided to young players in Serie A it’s evident. Even the recently appointed National Coach, Roberto Mancini has expressed concerns in this regard and promised to look out for solutions that can ensure a bright future for Italy’s football performances.
As an International Football Academy that deals with aspiring football players from different backgrounds in a daily basis, Soccer Interaction is committed to develop football players prepared for the demands of elite football and to promote opportunities in line with their profiles. We believe that the tide is shifting, and more and more football players will have their chances of breaking through the ranks and play at a professional level.
To properly advise youth players in this important step of their careers requires a thorough understanding of the football player and the football market and Soccer Interaction International Football Academy has the necessary know how. We prepared to liaise with different stakeholders, from professional football clubs to agents, promoting opportunities to our academy graduates and ensuring that they will have an opportunity to reach their full potential and become successful in a professional football environment.
If you want to know more, read our article “6 Ways to get a football soccer trial or tryout in europe with SIA“