International Centre for
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Tue. 08 November 2016

Annual census: record low for club-trained, record high for expatriates

The annual census carried out since 2009 by the CIES Football Observatory on the profile of players active in 31 top division leagues of UEFA member associations confirms the decrease in the presence of club-trained players, the increase in that of expatriates and the growing squad instability throughout Europe. The main findings are presented in the 19th edition of the Monthly Report.

The study notably shows that the presence of club-trained players continues to decrease: from 23.0% in 2009 to 19.2% in 2016. This is the lowest value ever measured. In parallel, the level of expatriates has reached a new record in 2016: 38.7% (+3.9% since 2009). For the first time since our survey has been carried out, the percentage of expatriates is over twice that of club-trained players.

The greater international mobility of players brings with it a growing instability in squads. The average number of players recruited during the year among those present on the 1st October has increased from 9.1 in 2009 (36.7% of squads) to 10.7 in 2016 (43.9%). This is also a new record. The average length of stay of players in their employer club has never been as low as in 2016: 2.2 years.

The sample is made up of footballers present on the 1st October having played in domestic league matches during the current season or having taken part in adult championships during each of the two preceding ones. Second and third goalkeepers are taken into account even though they do not meet these criteria.

For more information, please contact us at football.observatory(at)

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