Having spent the majority of their 112 years in the French Ligue 1, winning it nine times and The Coupe de France a record ten times, Olympique Marseille are the only French club to have won The Champions League. Alumni of their Academy include talents such as Samir Nasri, Mathieu Flamini and World Cup winner Alain Boghossian.
Proud of the newly built Robert Louis –Dreyfus Academy, Director Henri Stambouli maintains that ‘although we have to train professional players, we have to remember our role as educators of youth, and this is more than just football.’This concept is upheld throughout, and a multi sports zone is amongst the centre’s facilities. Here players acquire values from other sports including judo, basketball and swimming. This also means the young teams are not saturated with too much football.
Academy players are regularly trained alongside the first team. This is mutually beneficial, as players train at this elite standard while coaches gauge the talent of their potential future stars.
Viewing The NextGen Series as ‘the main novelty of the season’, Stambouli is relishing the prospect of his squad ‘competing against the best players of their generation and against different styles of play which will be very educational.’