Ligue 1 youth academies still Europe's best
Statistics from the 2009-10 season have confirmed that France remains Europe's number one producer of footballing talent with Ligue 1 clubs Olympique Lyonnais, Stade Rennais and Toulouse leading the way...
Project manager for the French Football Federation's DTN, Ludovic Debru, has revealed the healthy status of French youth academies after a meticulous study of the 2009-10 campaign in European competition as well as the top five leagues: Ligue 1, Spain's Liga, England's Premier League, Italy's Serie A and Germany's Bundesliga.
Player exports: Brazil, Argentina, France...
In the five major leagues, French youth academies produced a Europe-leading 114 player exports, behind only Brazil (156) and Argentina (121).
78 French youth academy graduates started league matches in Spain, England, Italy and Germany, again, second only to Brazil (88).
Champions League benchmark
And finally, after Brazil (68 professional players), France was again the number one European producer of players in the Champions League with 65 professional players taking part in the 2009-10 edition.
Academy graduates playing professionally
In terms of individual youth academy production, Ligue 1 clubs provided three of Europe's top six acadmies for graduates playing professionally, with Olympique Lyonnais second only to Real Madrid.
1. Real Madrid (27)
2. Olympique Lyonnais and Barcelona (18)
4 . Stade Rennais (17)
5. Toulouse FC, Atalanta Bergamo (13)
7. Espanyol, AC Milan (12)
9. Stuttgart, Bayern Munich Athletic Bilbao (11)
12. AS Saint-Etienne, Manchester United, West Ham, Juventus, AS Roma (10)
First team opportunities
Ligue 1 also provided three of the top five European clubs for their own academy graduates featuring regularly in league matches for the 2009-10 term:
1. Barcelona (9)
2. Athletic Bilbao (8)
3. Stade Rennais, Toulouse FC (6)
5. AS Saint-Etienne (5)