Athletic Bilbao coaches visit Benfica as collaboration steps up | OneFootball

Athletic Bilbao coaches visit Benfica as collaboration steps up

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Tribal Football

Athletic Bilbao staff recently visited SL Benfica's facilities in Lisbon.

Five coaches in charge of youth football at Lezama had the opportunity to get an in-depth look at the work being done at the Portuguese club.

It is the second meeting between the two teams after the collaboration agreement signed to optimise development and performance at their youth academies. The first meeting between the two teams took place last March in Lezama.

The aim is to share ideas on innovation and research in the field of youth football to help solve difficulties in footballers' development and progression, as well as to share best practices and methodologies that can benefit both teams.

Andoni Bombín, head of methodology at Lezama, stressed how the agreement will help both clubs advance, saying: “We're interested in learning from each other. The idea is to acquire knowledgein in order to solve problems that Benfica have already dealt with, and vice versa.

“We believe learning can be mutual. We're very united in what we want to achieve and the idea is to find common ground to work on projects that help both institutions."

Rui Passo, Benfica's vice-president, said “youth development is a good starting point to understand this partnership between Athletic and Benfica".

He continued: “Both youth academies are recognised worldwide, but Athletic operate in a very specific context in which they can only have players born or trained in the Basque Country.

“Despite the limitation, they have competitive teams, being one of the three LaLiga clubs that have never been relegated from the Primera División along with Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. We have to learn from this way of fostering the youth academy, to understand how they manage to do this with such a small sample of players.“

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