The famous Centro Sportivo Giacinto Facchetti in Milan is home to Inter’s Academy, and renowned Inter Youth team. Footballing legends such as: Paolo Orlandoni, Davide Santon , Francesco Bolzoni, Mario Balotelli, Goran Pandev, Obafemi Martins and Jonathan Biabiany have been produced here.
Roberto Samaden, Academy Director, states 'In the last ten years the club has invested a lot in youth.' An internal college with a 30,000 sq/m sports complex consisting of: three grass, one synthetic, one gravel and a 7-a side pitch, a gym, medical rooms and changing rooms demonstrate his point.
He continues; 'The Youth Academy is first and foremost a family.' The players are given comprehensive support throughout: from coaches and Doctors to physios and teachers, and are even provided with professional psychological mediation.
The last decade has seen over fifty players progress from the Academy, thanks in part to the impressive network feeding it. Soccer schools help young children to practice sport spontaneously from the age of five. Six Inter training centres throughout Italy work with six to thirteen year olds from clubs with proven high quality technical and organisational structures. There are fifty affiliated clubs, often benefitting from coaching help, and last summer even saw Inter host 2,500 participants in summer camps at the academy.
Samaden’s squad, who focus on a combination of movement, technique and intensity, see their toughest challenge in The NextGen Series as transferring their success and playing philosophy onto the international stage. It is this international aspect that excites the Director, who 'hopes to gain more from the tournament than just football experience.'