#49: Pedro Marques: Inside Benfica’s talent factory
Our guest on Episode #49 of the TGG Podcast, in association with Hudl, is Pedro Marques, the Technical Director of Benfica's Academy.
There's a strong case for saying that Benfica have the top Academy in Europe. They are the reigning UEFA Youth League champions (having beaten RB Salzburg 6-0 in the 2022 final), have the most profitable Academy in Europe (according to the CIES) and have recent graduates including Ruben Dias, Joao Felix and Bernardo Silva.
SHOW NOTES =>
02:30: Is there one thing that sets Benfica's Academy apart?
06:07: The importance of the Benfica Campus. Previously it was like "travelling with a house on your back" for players, parents and coaches.
08:56: Balance between being a development club and one that also wins trophies.
11:24: PILLAR ONE of the Benfica Academy = Scouting.
17:04: Admiring the work of Right 2 Dream, especially their character development and commitment to all children.
21:01: Overall there are 520 players in the system - 200 in the regional talent centres, 100 living in Lisbon and 220 living at the Benfica Campus.
26:45: Despite the success with South American players, the focus of the Academy is Portugal.
29:18: PILLAR TWO of the Benfica Academy = Methodology.
30:04: Broad base and diversity of activities at younger ages (futsal, dance, gymnastics, cage football) with more specialism at the older ages.
32:04: Playing model throughout the club. "It's not so much about the system, but principles & ideas - about intensity, taking the initiative, pressing high,regaining quickly & scoring lots of goals."
36:34: PILLAR THREE of the Benfica Academy = Competition.
41:02: PILLAR FOUR of the Benfica Academy = Opportunities.
43:17: Benfica Lab.
45:25: Instead of selling your stars, could you hold onto your best players in future and win the Champions League?
It is Free