Sport Lisboa e Benfica have expressed their delight at being selected as the best academy in the world for 2019 at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai. The reigning Portuguese champions won the accolade jointly with Ajax Amsterdam after another year in which several of their youth products shone at home and abroad.
It is the second time Benfica have won this award following their first recognition in 2015, and club president Luís Filipe Vieira voiced his pride for this achievement, stating: “This award is yet more proof that the vision we have for the Benfica Campus project is the correct one. Since we opened the doors of the academy in 2006, our administrators, coaches and staff have been working diligently to develop and nurture our talented players in Seixal. We are enjoying a tremendous cycle of success in which two Benfica products, Renato Sanches and João Félix, have won the Golden Boy Award and where many other players have helped our teams win a multitude of titles at junior and senior level. I am delighted that our academy has been recognized once more as the best in the world.”
Over the last decade, the Benfica Campus has produced a variety of stars that are shining in the top leagues in the world. From Bernardo Silva to Nélson Semedo, Ederson to João Cancelo, Gonçalo Guedes to André Gomes and Renato Sanches to João Felix, the examples are clear for the world to see. There are many others like Rúben Dias, Ferro, Florentino and Gedson Fernandes who have already helped the club win domestic titles.
Benfica Sporting Director Rui Costa, who picked up the award in Dubai on Sunday said: “It’s an honour to receive this award for the second time in Dubai. I started my playing career at Benfica and therefore I know this club has a history of success when it comes to player development. The work done at our academy since 2006 has been phenomenal and has allowed us to be successful on and off the field of play. I would like to thank the President and all the people who work at the academy every day and which make this project a success.”
Benfica, who have won a record 37 Portuguese championships, are currently leading the national league once more and have done so with the contribution of several youth products. A total of nine players from the academy have played already this season.
The winners at the Globe Soccer Awards were chosen by the Dubai Globe Soccer Jury, a panel of leading industry experts including Fabio Capello, Antonio Conte, Eric Abidal and Luís Figo.
The 2019 edition of the ceremony took place at the Medinat Jumeirah and was organized in partnership with the Dubai Sports Council.