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Tue. 26 October 2021

Ajax crowned best training club in Europe

Issue number 353 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly PostAFC Ajax tops the CIES Football Observatory 2021 rankings of clubs having trained the most footballers playing in 31 top divisions of UEFA member countries. The Dutch team nurtured 81 players currently active in these championships, six more than Shakhtar Donetsk. Real Madrid and Barcelona co-head the table for players active in the five major European leagues (42). The top 100s are accessible for free here.

The CIES Football Observatory also developed the Training Index, an indicator weighting the number of players trained according to the sporting level of their employer clubs (through a coefficient based on domestic league and international club competitions results), their employment rate (over the last year), as well as their age (the younger, the better). Ajax also tops this table for players in the 31 European top divisions surveyed, ahead of Sporting Clube de Portugal and Real Madrid.

The highest Training Index when only considering big-5 league footballers was recorded for Real Madrid, ahead of FC Barcelona and Paris St-Germain. Ajax, Sporting Clube and Anderlecht are the best-ranked non big-5 league teams. As per UEFA definition, training clubs are those where footballers have played for at least three years between the ages of 15 and 21. The season during which players celebrated their 15th and 21st birthday are also included.

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