The 14-month-long project, launched in Doha in January 2020 by FIFA’s Technical Development team, analysed youth football and talent development practices and structures around the world. The data gathered during that time was compiled into a global report on the state and direction of talent development, as well as a dedicated country report for each of the 205 FIFA member associations (MAs) that took part.
The report found that a great number of talented players go undiscovered due to a number of factors, including the lack of planning, quality of education, infrastructure & financial resources to train youngsters.
Explaining the aim of the project, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger said: "Our immediate target is that every member association should reach its full potential to have the strongest possible national team. A long-term plan for talent development is essential for success."
The report provides a series of calls to action, which indicate practical steps towards improvement that can be taken by MAs and other stakeholders involved in the development of young players.
A team of 30 FIFA High Performance experts looked at youth football practices across the world, conducting a total of 1,143 interviews and 2,140 surveys with key members of the technical development hierarchy in each MA, including national team youth coaches, technical directors, and association presidents and general secretaries. The study also includes insights drawn from 864 football academies, analysed by Double Pass.
The global report offers insights into a number of key areas of talent development, namely talent identification, training, playing opportunities, and the transition from youth to senior level. Each country report offers tailored guidance on how the MA could proceed, given their own particular national situation.
The scheme is in keeping with FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s Vision 2020-2023, the stated aim of which is to make football truly global by increasing competitiveness in competitions such as the FIFA World Cup™ and the FIFA Women’s World Cup™. "This global report is part of our commitment to our members, to all talented players and to all football stakeholders everywhere to increase global competitiveness. Everything is connected in our sport. We are all connected. Giving every talent a chance to develop in the best possible way requires everyone to play their part,” said the FIFA President.