Barcelona, PSG, Real Madrid... Why Are Top European Clubs All Heading to Nigeria?


What does this potend, Barcelona, PSG, Juventus... have all established a football academy in Nigeria. And plans are on the way to establish a Real Madrid Academy in Port Harcourt Rivers state in the next few months. For the millions of passionate kids in Nigeria, it is a good omen. Their dream of becoming a football star and playing for these top flight clubs seems to have come true...just right at their doorstep.


Only few Nigerian players ever signed for these teams in the past: Emmanuel Amunike and Gbenga Okonwo played for Barcelona, Austin Okocha played for PSG and Sunday Oliseh for Juventus. No Nigerian player has ever signed for Real Madrid. So these brings some kind of inquisition: Why are these top European Clubs establishing Football academy in Nigeria?

Does this mean more Nigerians will have opportunity to play for these teams. This may be the catch for most parents who will be sending their kids to these academies. But they may be disappointed, because this may not perhaps be the major reason fo. establishing the academies in Nigeria. Most of them came by the invitation of government or some private business partnership. Let us look at some of the reasons they decided to establish their academy here in Nigeria.


1. Better off for our Young Talents: Government in their wisdom want these top european clubs to transfer their advance techniques and know how for developing world class talents. It will help the growth and development of our young players as these clubs transfer their football culture of excellence. This will lead to Nigeria having a more highly efficient professional footballers in the future.

2. - Nigeria has a large deposit of young talented footballers: With Nigeria's Golden Eaglets winning the Fifa U17 World Cup back-to-back in 2013 and 2015 respectively...and have won five times in the by-annual competition in 32 years, shows there are lots of young and raw talents in this country. So it is not entirely out of place that these top European clubs are hoping to find another Messi or Ronaldo here in Nigeria.


3 - Overcome Fifa laws on Child trafficking: It is better to have the academy where there are large deposit of under age talents. By establishing academy at their doorstep the kids can train on football skills as well as go to school...and these clubs will not be found wanting by the Fifa law. Sending an under aged player to spain, France or Italy may amount to child trafficking.



4 - Nigeria is football feeder country: Everyone Nigeria club or player are eagerly seeking a transfer deals abroad. There's no law prohibiting or restricting such movement. it is cheaper to groom and transfer players from Nigeria. This may be yet another reason these top European clubs decided to establish an academy in Nigeria.


5 - Large market of young footballers seeking more professionally operated Academy: The reputation of these european clubs in Nigeria will drive millions of kids to register and attend the academies. Nigerian parents and their kids are so passionate about these top european clubs and are most likely to patronize their academy here in Nigeria.


6 - Nigeria is the hub of West African football Market: it easy for young players from other West African countries to come to Nigeria to attend these academies. This free movement in ECOWAS region, greatly extends market size for these academies.

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