Definition of La Fabrica

What is the meaning of the term La Fabrica when it comes to the game of football?

La Fabrica, or in english The Factory, is the name of the Real Madrid Football Club academy, which also goes by the name of Cantera.

The illustration of the Real Madrids La Fabrica training academy in Valdebebas.  The drawing accompanies the term definition.

La Fabrica was originally started back in the 1950s. Its current location, since year 2005, is in Valdebebas, in close proximity to the city of Madrid itself. The area was appropriately named Ciudad Real Madrid (City of Real Madrid) and it serves as the training ground for all teams associated with the club. From first team to the under-8 youth team, everybody trains at La Fabrica.

Real Madrid made news in recent years investing €100m into renovating their academy, which is now dubbed as the greatest sports facility ever built by a football club. And it probably is.

Countless stars have come out of La Fabrica over the years. Some of the recent names you may recognize are Raul, Juan Mata, Alvaro Arbeloa, Iker Casillas, Dani Carvajal, Guti and Alvaro Morata.

Of course, there is the famous generation of: Butragueno, Sanchis, Michel and co., who won countless trophies for the club. Rafael Benitez, now famous manager also came through the ranks at La Fabrica. Over the years mostly Spanish players have trained at the academy, but the likes of Esteban Cambiasso and Samuel Eto were also there.

Training at La Fabrica is a lifestyle. And a serious one. Younger players, who are lucky to be chosen by the club, spend long hours practicing there. They are provided schooling and transportation. It is said that upon their arrival they are told to abandon their previous life and devote themselves to Real Madrid, as that is what it takes to become an elite football player.

The pitches at La Fabrica, just like the pitch at Santiago Bernabeu - Real Madrid's main stadium, are covered with grass imported from Netherlands. La Fabrica has countless fields, dressing rooms, gyms, conference centers, pools and therapy rooms. It is 40 times larger than the Santiago Bernabeu itself.