Athletic Ranked The 8th-Best European Club For Youth Development By CIES
Athletic Club is known around the globe for commitment and dedication to youth development. The Basque giants have made it a priority to train those from the area to one day reach the first team and throughout history have produced some of the best players to ever grace the beautiful game. Lezama continues to be a reference point for clubs and widely respected in the world of football.
On Thursday, CIES released their yearly report on youth development at football clubs and ranked Athletic the 8th-best club in this area. Athletic are credited with producing 23 footballers who currently play in Europe’s top five leagues. The total count of players who have come through Lezama and are playing football professionally at some level is much higher.
Naturally, the number of players in the top five leagues who were developed at Athletic declined since last year with Mikel Rico and Jonas Ramalho both moving to the Segunda along with Markel Susaeta joining Japan’s Gamba Osaka. However, others such as Oihan Sancet and Gaizka Larrazabal have both made their debuts with the first team, as has Borja Sainz who spent five years at Lezama before signing with Alavés.
For decades, Lezama has been one of the most celebrated and admired youth academies in all of football. Athletic’s commitment to player development, grassroots football, and constant improvement has only seen Lezama improve and there is more to come. In the years ahead the club will be moving forward with the Lezama Master Plan which includes building a youth residence. The future, as always, shines bright in Bilbao.