Manchester City have unveiled plans for a £100 million training ground facility next to the Etihad Stadium.
The City Football Academy, which will take around two years to build and will be opened before the start of the 2014/15 season, will include 16 full-size pitches, a 7,000 capacity stadium for reserve fixtures and a dedicated media centre.
Former Arsenal and City midfielder Patrick Vieira, who now works as football executive for the reigning Premier League champions, believes the research that went into developing the facility which included visits to training grounds around the world, will ensure the 80 acre site will be the finest of its kind in the world.
"What I find really exciting about the project is that before designing the facilities they have been to the football world, the basketball world and the NFL world, so a lot of hard work has been done around the project,” he said.
“That is why I believe it is the best project around in all sports because people have spent a lot of time travelling around the world and trying to capture the best in every sport and bring it here.
"It is a long-term commitment from the football club and I am really excited about it because once you see the pictures, then you can't wait for the work to start. I think the club are creating something fantastic because when you are a footballer you want to develop yourself and are looking for the best facilities to do so.
"I think those facilities will give all the young players from the youth to the first team the chance to improve themselves and to challenge themselves. Especially for the youth, because when you bring a young talented player to your club, you want to give them the best chance to achieve their dream of playing for our first team, and I think those facilities will give them what they will need to improve themselves."
The money spent on the training ground by City will not count against them when UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules are implemented.
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