The recent high-profile move of Cristiano Ronaldo to Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr has put the spotlight on football in the Gulf nation. When the Portuguese superstar made the shock switch, many football fans were left wondering – who are Al Nassr?
The Riyadh-based club was founded in 1945 and is one of the most successful teams in Saudi Arabia. However, they lacked international recognition prior to Ronaldo’s arrival. That has all changed now, with Al Nassr being thrust into the global limelight.
Ronaldo’s presence at the club has also drawn attention to their renowned youth academy. The Al Nassr Football Academy is highly respected in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East region for producing top quality players.
With the club now under an intense international glare, their youth trials for 2023 are sure to see a surge in applicants.
How to Join Al Nassr Academy in 2023
You want to join Al Nassr’s world-famous academy for a shot at making it as a professional footballer? Here is everything you need to know about the 2023 trials, application process, fees and scholarships:
To apply for Al Nassr’s 2023 intake, you must:
- Be aged 8-16 years old (for their U9 to U17 youth teams)
- Have any nationality, though Saudi Arabian citizens are preferred
- Have prior football training and be skilled for your age group
Al Nassr announces their trial dates on social media and their website. Here are the key steps:
- Follow their accounts on various platforms to stay updated
- Check their website often for trial dates
- Fill out the online application form once released
- Provide accurate details about your age for verification
- Wait for confirmation from Al Nassr to attend the trials .
Preparing for Trials
To showcase your skills at trials, prepare thoroughly:
- Maintain fitness with running, sprints and agility training
- Practice dribbling, passing, shooting and other technical drills
- Play competitive matches to sharpen match skills and game intelligence
- Research Al Nassr academy’s playing philosophy and tactics
- Get sufficient rest and eat healthy meals leading up to the trials
What to Expect at Trials
The Al Nassr trials are an intense, professional experience. Here’s what you can expect:
- Hundreds of aspirants competing for limited spots
- Assessing technical skills like dribbling, passing, shooting
- Small-sided games to assess match intelligence and awareness
- Physical tests on speed, agility and endurance
- Interviews to evaluate ambition, mentality and personality
Impress the coaches at every stage to get selected. Display your passion throughout.
Fees & Scholarships
Al Nassr academy costs around SAR 8,000-15,000 per year for tuition, gear and more. However:
- Need-based scholarships and financial aid are available
- If selected, fees are often fully sponsored by the club
- Budget for travel, accommodation if outside Riyadh
With Al Nassr’s rising status, earning a scholarship is highly competitive. Perform excellently at trials to stand out.
For applicants outside Riyadh, accommodation is provided at the academy residences once selected. Features include:
- Shared rooms with 2-3 beds
- Housekeeping services
- Nutritious meals and snacks
- Common recreation and study rooms
- Adult supervision and security
Staying on campus lets you focus fully on football and bonding with teammates.
Life at Al Nassr Academy
Wondering what life is like after getting selected for Al Nassr’s youth academy? Here’s an inside look at the routines, facilities and coaching you’ll experience:
A typical day involves:
- 06:00 – Wake up and breakfast
- 07:00 – First training session
- 10:00 – Recovery with physio and snacks
- 11:00 – Schooling in classroom
- 14:00 – Lunch and rest
- 16:00 – Second training session
- 19:00 – Dinner
- 20:00 – Free time and bedtime
Training is intense with focused drills. Schooling ensures academic progress. The structured schedule teaches discipline.
You’ll have access to:
- Pristine natural and artificial pitches
- Fully-equipped gym with strength and conditioning coaches
- Game analysis video rooms
- Medical clinics and physio rehabilitation
- Swimming pool for recovery
- Common lounge areas
Utilize the stellar facilities to maximize development.
Al Nassr coaches are often former players. You’ll learn:
- Technical skills like passing, shooting, positioning
- Tactical knowledge of formations, pressing, buildup
- Position-specific skills for goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders etc.
- Reviewing match footage to improve decision making
- Rigorous fitness regimens for speed, power and agility
Be a sponge and absorb all the tactical and technical expertise.
When not training, you’ll bond with your batchmates:
- Dining together builds camaraderie
- Socializing in the lounge promotes friendship
- Playing table tennis, video games in free time
- Lighthearted banter and competition with teammates
- Motivating each other during grueling sessions
Make lifelong friends who will push you towards excellence.
Pathway to Professional Contracts
The ultimate goal is to progress from the youth teams to the Al Nassr senior squad. From there, you could:
- Establish yourself as a starter for Al Nassr
- Earn a lucrative contract extension
- Receive a call-up to the Saudi national team
- Attract scouts from European clubs if performances merit it
- Follow in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps at Al Nassr!
Work tirelessly and a professional contract could be in your future.
Life After Al Nassr Academy
While every trainee dreams of turning professional, only a small percentage get contracts. Even if you don’t become a pro, the Al Nassr academy provides broader life lessons.
If earning a pro contract proves challenging, the academy supports your further education:
- Schooling up till 12th grade at the academy itself
- Guidance for high school and university applications
- Scholarships for pursuing college degrees
- Tie-ups with Saudi universities for student-athlete programs
Education is the best backup plan if a pro career doesn’t pan out.
Work Experience and Internships
The prestigious Al Nassr name opens doors for work experience:
- Internships in corporate companies who sponsor Al Nassr
- Coaching opportunities at affiliate grassroots football programs
- First preference for jobs at Al Nassr facilities or administration
The professional network at Al Nassr can help in exploring non-playing careers.
Regardless of where life takes you after, the academy bonds and memories will last forever:
- Lifelong friends from intense shared experiences
- Connections with Al Nassr alumni throughout Saudi and the Gulf
- Continued mentorship from the coaches and staff who groomed you
- Cherishing the hard work, tears and laughter on the training pitch
- Pride at being part of the Al Nassr football family
The football may stop, but the brotherhood persists.
The Al Nassr Football Academy has a long and storied history of nurturing top Saudi talent. Any promising young footballer in the region would be privileged to join this prestigious institution.
The world-class facilities, top-notch coaching and structured development program at Al Nassr provides the perfect environment for blossoming into a professional player. If you have the passion and work ethic, the academy can hone your raw potential into elite technical and tactical skills.
The professional contracts and national team call-ups achieved by previous academy graduates demonstrate that Al Nassr excels at turning talented youngsters into football stars. The bonds and memories you build there will stay with you for life, even if a pro career doesn’t pan out.