Top 6 Best Football Academies in China

You are an aspiring football player looking to develop your skills and pursue a professional career. With football’s popularity growing rapidly in China, the country has invested heavily in building world-class training facilities and academies to nurture homegrown talent.

As you research your options, these 6 academies stand out as the best places to hone your game and get noticed by scouts:

Shanghai Shenhua Football Academy

  • Location: Shanghai

The Shanghai Shenhua Football Academy is widely considered one of the top youth training programs in Asia. As the official academy of Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua FC, they have access to excellent coaches and facilities. The program accepts promising young players aged 6 to 15 for their youth teams.

The training focuses on building well-rounded footballers with good technique, tactics, fitness and mentality. You’ll get to work on all aspects of your game, from dribbling and passing to shooting and positioning. The coaches employ proven training methods to improve your skills and decision making.

The academy frequently plays matches against top youth sides to test you under pressure. You’ll also participate in many local and regional tournaments. Excellent performers may get recommended to the Shenhua FC youth teams and development squad.

Guangzhou Evergrande Football School

  • Location: Guangzhou

Owned and operated by Chinese Super League giants Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC, this academy offers superb training in state-of-the-art facilities. The school recruits elite youth talent from across the country through a comprehensive scouting network.

The highly qualified coaches utilize an innovative curriculum incorporating futsal, gymnastics, swimming and martial arts. This multidimensional approach aims to build footballing intelligence by sharpening your reflexes, flexibility, balance and coordination.

The school has a strong track record of producing top footballers, with many graduates playing professionally in China and Europe. If you have the ability and drive, you can develop tremendously under the staff’s expert guidance.

The academy also regularly competes in continental and domestic youth tournaments, providing great exposure to international football. Excellent performers may catch the eye of Evergrande FC scouts.

Shanghai JuJu Football School

  • Location: Shanghai

This academy operated by former Chinese national team player Ju Zhe features an accelerated 3-year program for ages 13-15. The intensive training aims to equip you with the skills, tactics and work ethic to succeed at the pro level by 16.

The school provides year-round coaching focused on technical mastery, positional play, decision making and psychological preparation. You’ll partake in video analysis, simulated games and frequent internal matches to test your abilities.

The program also emphasizes strength training tailored to football and injury prevention exercises. High-level instruction, small classes and rigorous sessions facilitate rapid improvement.

The academy regularly participates in youth leagues and tournaments in China and abroad. Consistently strong performances could help you get scouted by Shanghai-based pro clubs.

CSL Elite Football School

  • Location: Chengdu

This ambitious, state-funded academy operated by the Chinese Super League aims to produce a new generation of world-class Chinese footballers. If accepted into the intense 5-year residential program, you’ll train under experienced domestic and foreign coaches.

The curriculum focuses on technical excellence, tactical knowledge, physical conditioning and cultivation of the right attitude. You’ll take part in classroom instruction, video analysis, positional exercises, small-sided games and full 11v11 matches.

State-of-the-art facilities, sports science support and high-level competition against foreign youth teams provide the optimal environment to realize your potential. The school participates in international youth tournaments and frequently plays friendlies abroad.

Impressing at CSL Elite School could help you gain the notice of CSL scouts and Chinese national team selectors. Graduates may also earn opportunities to train with European clubs.

Shandong Luneng Football School

  • Location: Jinan

This highly-rated academy operated by Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng FC focuses on developing well-rounded young talents. The school recruits youth aged 6-19 into age-specific teams that compete in professional leagues and tournaments.

Under the guidance of experienced domestic coaches and foreign consultants, you’ll partake in tactical, technical, physical and video training tailored to your developmental needs. By mastering basics, specializing in a position and increasing fitness, you can make great strides working your way up the ranks.

The academy also emphasizes psychological preparation, leadership and educational development. Its holistic approach aims to shape you into a mature footballer ready for the professional game.

If you demonstrate excellent ability, discipline and work ethic, you may be selected for Luneng FC’s reserve squad or signed to a pro contract.

Dalian Wanda Football School

  • Location: Dalian

This elite youth academy operated by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group provides comprehensive football training coupled with a quality education. The school recruits youth aged 6-15 and provides tuition-free schooling along with intensive daily training under certified domestic and foreign coaches.

The well-rounded curriculum focuses on developing technique, tactics, creativity, awareness, speed, strength and a winning mentality. You’ll partake in video sessions, positional exercises, small-sided games and tournaments against top junior sides.

Graduates have progressed to play for Chinese youth national teams, professional clubs, overseas leagues and even the Chinese Olympic team. The program’s excellent coaching, facilities and methodology can transform your raw potential into world-class ability.

Requirements to Join a Football Academy in China

To get admitted into a top Chinese football academy, you’ll need:

  • Exceptional footballing ability and potential for your age group
  • A strong work ethic, drive to improve and willingness to follow coaching instructions
  • Good physical conditioning with no major injuries
  • Passion and dedication to pursue a professional career
  • Mental toughness to cope with high training intensity
  • Good behavior, discipline and teamwork skills
  • For residential academies: Educational qualifications and exam scores for academic program

These elite academies only accept the most talented young prospects who demonstrate the qualities to make it to the highest levels of football.

With China aggressively trying to boost its domestic football talent, getting quality training at a reputed academy can be the perfect pathway to turn your potential into on-field success.


China now boasts a growing number of world-class youth football academies that can launch your career. The 6 profiled here have excellent facilities, coaching and competition opportunities. They employ proven methods to transform talented youngsters into complete footballers ready for the professional game.

If you have the ability and drive, training at one of these academies can help you reach new heights in your game. Their youth teams participate in many high-profile events, so performing well could get you noticed by scouts.

Work hard to improve all aspects of your game while buying into their philosophy, and you could impress your coaches enough to make it to a top league. Trust in the process and give 100% commitment each day. Keep visiting our site for more useful football advice and academy profiles. All the best!

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