50 Best European Academy Prospects Now Playing for Their First Team

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50 Best European Academy Prospects Now Playing for Their First Team
David Ramos/Getty Images

There just aren't enough one-club wonders out there anymore, are there?

Players such as Andres Iniesta, who is poised to make his 500th appearance for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid this week, is one such star to deserve credit.

We celebrate those who stay loyal because it's such a rarity, with money, agents and wage packets controlling most players' futures in 2014.

With that in mind, we've constructed a list of 50 players still playing for the club they were with when they were 16 years of age and ranked them according to how good they were at their peak value.

That means Steven Gerrard is graded at his barnstorming best, Iker Casillas at his sharp, shot-stopping greatest and Philipp Lahm as of right now.

Any player who joined a club at 16 or younger is counted; that's the cut-off point. "European" refers to teams, not players.

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