Like Johan Cruyff once said, it’s never a team that makes its debut, it’s a single player, an individual,” says Westerveld. “We need to develop individual players so every player within our academy has his own individual plan to make the steps needed to finally get in to the first team.

“We use our [academy] team more or less not to win games, but to try to develop as many individual players as possible.”

It’s the winning mentality,” De Ligt says. “It’s the mentality of improving every day, becoming better every day and the discipline to do that. That’s what you see here.”

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