Raising their own players is an important tradition in Spanish soccer, and Real Betis is one of the clubs that pay attention to selecting talented youngsters from the region of Andalusia, province of Seville. The first team had been marked by a decade of inconsistent results, relegations, and disappointments.
This year, the club had brought a new coach, several new important players, and signed an important contract with easyMarkets, moves that might show the period of financial instability is over. With better prospects at the first team, should we see improvements in the academy as well?
Real Betis “cantera”
The organization’s youth academy, the “cantera” is where players are being developed since their childhood. The Juvenil A under 18/19 is the final category within the youth structure and represents the club in two national competitions: Copa del Rey Juvenil and Copa de Campeones. If we do not see the first Real Betis team managing to end on top of the league, not the same can be said about the U19 team, which managed to end the 2018-2019 Division de Honor Juvenil de Futbol on an impressive third place.
Part of the group 4, the Real Betis youth team ended the season with 72 points, one point behind Granada, and 7 behind the big city rival Sevilla. The second place would have ensured qualification for the Copa del Rey, while the first one would have sent the team in the Qualification for Copa de Campeones. The new season may see Real Betis youth team finally managing to bank one of the first two places, given that the academy is one where several important players had been raised.
Famous players raised by Real Betis
Junior Firpo is the most recent product of the Real Betis’ youth academy, who left the team this month to join FC Barcelona on a five-year deal, estimated at 18 million euros plus 12 million in add ons. Aged 23 and playing mainly as a left-back, he is one of the most talented young Spanish defenders.
Dani Ceballos is currently the Real Madrid player on a loan to Premier League club Arsenal. The 23-year-old midfielder also spent three years in the Betis youth academy and another three years at the first team. Since 2018, he also played 6 matches for Spain’s national team and is considered to be one of the most prominent midfielders in the country.