At the outset of his ownership in 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan set out his vision for the future of Manchester City Football Club, pledging to bring success on the field and to nurture young talent, whilst at the same time remaining proudly rooted in its community.

The cornerstone of that vision was based in youth development and sustainability, a vision to educate talented young footballers on and off the pitch and to do so in a facility supported by the best coaches and coaching programmes. This vision was underpinned by an unwavering commitment to the regeneration of the local area in both economic and environmental terms.

After six years of extensive research, development and construction, City Football Academy (CFA) Manchester was opened in December 2013 and became home to all of Manchester City’s football teams of both genders and all age groups. The CFA also accommodates the majority of Manchester-based staff in one connected operational base and is a global headquarters for City Football Group.

Two-thirds of the 16.5 pitches on site are primarily used for youth football, and the wider development of the young players is supported by tailored coaching and education facilities, medical and sports science services, sleeping accommodation and parents’ facilities.

In February 2015, City Football Academy Melbourne was unveiled. Based upon the same research-based philosophy and design as CFA Manchester, CFA Melbourne is HQ for Melbourne City FC and is CFG’s centre for football operations in the Asia-Pacific region. The facility features advanced new training pitches for the Melbourne City FC men’s and women’s teams, two elite youth team pitches, dedicated community pitches, world-class medical and sports science facilities and expansive new office space.

New York City FC opened the Etihad City Football Academy New York in April 2018. The facility was designed, built and is now operated in a manner consistent with CFG’s approach to infrastructure and proven best practice. The facility shares design elements and functionality with the first two City Football Academies in Manchester and Melbourne and was also designed by the same NY-based architect, Rafael Viñoly.

In March 2021, City Football Group unveiled the Montevideo City Football Academy, the Group's fourth major training facility, alongside those in Manchester, Melbourne and New York.

The new campus is the first of its kind in Uruguay, housing Montevideo City Torque's men and women teams, youth teams, club staff and community foundation projects. It comprises five pitches and a multipurpose building including changing rooms, a gymnasium, a medical centre, dining room and club offices. 

The new academy will promote the development of youth talent, as well as boost the club's social work in the Montevideo area.