Speaking at the fifth session of the European Club Association (ECA) Youth Football Knowledge Exchange programme at AS Monaco’s performance centre in La Turbie, the association’s Football Development Manager, Pouya Yaghoubinia gave a glowing review of the Principality club’s facilities and youth strategy.
The event gathered ECA Member Clubs in La Turbie to discuss football scouting strategy and in order to exchange and learn from varying approaches across Europe. AS Monaco’s Director of Youth Football Development Pascal De Maesschalck, Sporting Lisbon’s Paulo Noga, and Tottenham Hotspur’s Academy Manager, Dean Rastrick, all spoke at the two-day-long event.
Speaking to journalists, including Get French Football News’ Luke Entwistle, Yaghoubinia said that it was “natural” that the session took place at Monaco, whose famous La Diagonale academy has produced players like Thierry Henry, Kylian Mbappé, and even more recently, Benoît Badiashile and Eliesse Ben Seghir.
Yaghoubinia spoke glowingly of the club’s new performance centre. “We can hold Monaco as an example, not just in terms of the development of infrastructure, but also for their procedures for detecting talent, processes for developing talent and for the importance they give to educating these young players, not just as footballers, but as human beings and future citizens. I think that by bringing together all of these elements, AS Monaco can be placed as the top performance centre, not just in France, but in Europe,” he said.
Speaking about French football’s ability to consistently produce world-class talents, Yaghoubinia told Get French Football News’ Luke Entwistle: “France is a massive breeding ground for talent that you don’t find in every country. But on top of that, there is a fantastic organisation that starts with the federations. In France, these young players play in the first teams, which isn’t necessarily the case everywhere. It is here in France that young players, either in the top flight or in Ligue 2, play the most minutes. This is crucial in the development of these fantastic players,” he said.
Photo of Pouya Yaghoubinia by European Club Association
GFFN | Luke Entwistle