Top 20 Best Football Academies in South America

Lugo,Spain – may 21, 2010: group of teenagers , playing football in school yard seen from public pedestrian walkway

Imagine you’re a talented young footballer with dreams of turning pro. You eat, sleep and breathe football – it’s your absolute passion. You know you have the raw ability and work ethic to succeed. But you need expert training and exposure to reach your full potential.

Attending one of South America’s elite youth football academies could provide that launching pad for your career. Graduates from top academies like Boca Juniors and Santos FC routinely rise to football fame playing for globally renowned clubs and countries.

In this article, we explain everything you need to know about getting into and succeeding at one of these prestigious South American academies. From costs to application processes to what skills they look for, we cover it all. Read on to start your journey to football stardom.

What do you need to get into a top South American football academy?

To have a shot at getting into one of these top academies, you’ll need:

  • Excellent football skills and knowledge of the game
  • To be fit, athletic and have a footballer’s physique
  • A record of strong performances in youth competitions
  • True passion for football and real desire to make it
  • The right attitude and willingness to work super hard
  • To be the minimum age, usually 12-14 years old
  • To hold citizenship or residency in the country where the academy is

These academies will test your skills and fitness thoroughly before offering you a spot. You’ll need to show you’re one of the top young players in your area.

What are the costs of attending a top academy in South America?

Unlike Europe, South American academies don’t charge you tuition fees. They make money by transferring players to pro clubs. But you will have costs like:

  • Accommodation and living expenses
  • Kit/gear and equipment
  • Travel to and from the academy
  • Medical insurance

You may get financial assistance if you need it. But expect to pay at least a few hundred bucks a month.

How do you apply to a top South American football academy?

To apply, you’ll need to:

  • Submit an online application or email your football CV/resume
  • Send video highlights that show your skills
  • Get scouted and recommended at youth tournaments
  • Attend trial camps run by the academy
  • Agree to their development terms if selected, and enroll

There’s a ton of competition, with thousands going for just a few spots. Start early by playing for strong youth teams to get on their radar.

Top 20 Football Academies in South America

Academy Location Age Range
Boca Juniors Buenos Aires, Argentina 12-18 years
River Plate Buenos Aires, Argentina 12-18 years
Independiente Avellaneda, Argentina 12-18 years
Racing Club Buenos Aires, Argentina 12-18 years
Velez Sarsfield Buenos Aires, Argentina 12-18 years
Club Atletico Lanus Lanús, Argentina 12-18 years
Godoy Cruz Mendoza, Argentina 12-18 years
Rayo Vallecano Madrid, Spain 12-18 years
Athletico Paranaense Curitiba, Brazil 12-18 years
Gremio Porto Alegre, Brazil 12-18 years
Santos FC Sao Paulo, Brazil 12-18 years
Cruzeiro Belo Horizonte, Brazil 12-18 years
Flamengo Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 12-18 years
Colo-Colo Santiago, Chile 12-18 years
Universidad de Chile Santiago, Chile 12-18 years
LDU Quito Quito, Ecuador 12-18 years
Barcelona SC Guayaquil, Ecuador 12-18 years
Nacional Montevideo, Uruguay 12-18 years
Penarol Montevideo, Uruguay 12-18 years

Frequently Asked Questions

Which academies in Brazil are the best?

The top-rated academies in Brazil are Santos, Sao Paulo, Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Gremio and Cruzeiro.

Do English clubs have their own academies in South America?

A few big Premier League clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool partner with South American academies to find young players. But most don’t have their own full academies there.

What languages are used at the academies?

Spanish is used at most academies in South America. Portuguese is used in Brazil. Some teaching may also be in English.

What does a typical day involve at an academy?

In a normal day, you’ll do technical drills, tactical training, gym workouts, classwork, video analysis, match play, and recovery. Expect to dedicate yourself fully.


Attending a top-tier football academy in South America can be a life-changing opportunity for any talented young player with big dreams. The training, coaching, and competition you’ll get at one of these academies is second-to-none. If you have the ability, passion, and work ethic to succeed, doing everything you can to join one of these academies could be the best decision you’ll ever make.

So keep working hard to improve your skills and fitness. Study what the top academies are looking for in players and do your best to demonstrate those qualities. Getting scouted by or trying out for one of these academies may feel like a long shot – but you’ll never know unless you try. Bring your A-game, leave it all on the field, and who knows – you could be on your way to football stardom. Just don’t quit on your dreams!

For more tips to make your football dreams a reality, keep visiting our site. We want to support you in reaching your full potential. The journey won’t be easy, but we believe in you.

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