Definition of Homegrown Player

What is the meaning of the term homegrown player?

A homegrown player in soccer is a player that was trained in the club development academy and then promoted to the first team.

Leagues such as the UEFA Champions league, English Premier League and Major League Soccer put a lot of value on homegrown players. Homegrown players strengthen the national teams and are a requirement for every club to have on their roster.


In UEFA competitions, such as the Champions League, out of 25 players each club has to have a minimum of 8 players that were developed by clubs from the same nation and 4 of them have to be from the club's own youth program. This allows a maximum of 17 foreign players to be on the team.

In England, the focus is very much on developing players from early ages in hope of developing homegrown talent. In the English Premier League the number is the same as in the UCL, there has to be 8 homegrown players on each squad.

Perhaps the most famous club that heavily relies on homegrown players is Barcelona FC. The amount of talent that came out of their La Masia academy is impressive.

The famous Barcelona FC duo Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta captured during celebration in one of their last games together.  February 2018.
Lionel Messi - Barcelona FC - Year 2018


In the Major League Soccer one of the rules is called the Homegrown Player Rule and it states that MLS teams can sign local players from their own youth academies directly to first team.