Scouting Beyond the National Teams

The best of the best?

It is not uncommon for Eyeball to be told by clubs that their international scouting efforts are entirely centred around the national teams — after all, these players are supposedly the “best of the best” of youth talent in their country.

However, relying solely on national youth teams is not a robust scouting strategy for at least two reasons:

1. Given the sheer size of a country’s talent pool, not all deserving players get an opportunity to showcase their skills, as players from smaller or less prominent clubs are often overlooked.

2. From our analysis of recent history, the number of regular senior national team players who also played on their U17 national teams is often 50% or less.

Players chosen to represent their countries at U17 level are clearly on a good path, but we all know that many of the best players only reveal their true potential as older youths.

Notables who never played for their U17 national teams:

Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium)

Rodri (Spain)

Robert Lewandowski (Poland)

Manuel Neuer (Germany)

Antoine Griezmann (France)

Virgil Van Dijk (Netherlands)

Consider club football

To truly uncover undiscovered talents, your scouting strategy must extend beyond national teams to include club football.

Elite clubs offer a rich and diverse pool of players who might not yet be on the national radar but have the potential to excel at higher levels. By monitoring club competitions across various tiers, you can identify young prospects and emerging stars, gaining a competitive edge in talent acquisition.

Eyeball’s National Leagues tab

A comprehensive scouting strategy includes targeting both club football and national teams. Get the best of both worlds with Eyeball!

In addition to our extensive club coverage, the Eyeball platform features the National Leagues tab for a shortcut to the best leagues in each country that Eyeball covers.

In many countries, the highest U17, U19, and U21 youth leagues are played at a national level, and players from the national teams often participate in these leagues.

The National Leagues tab will streamline your search for some of the top talent available on our platform.

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