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Tue. 08 November 2016

Club-trained players: the European league rankings

The presence of club-trained footballers greatly varies throughout Europe. Issue number 164 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks 31 top division championships of UEFA member associations according to the percentage of club-trained players in squads.

In three countries, footballers who have been for at least three seasons between 15 and 21 years of age in their employer club account for less than 10% of squad members: Turkey (6.9%), Portugal (9.6%) and Cyprus (9.6%). At the opposite end of the table, the percentage of club-trained players is over 30% in Slovakia (31.5%) and Ukraine (30.6%).

The lowest proportion among big-5 leagues was recorded in the English Premier League: 10.0%. Since 2012, this percentage has steadily decreased to reach a record low in the current season. Conversely, in the Spanish Liga, club-trained footballers account for almost one quarter of squads: 24.1%. The multiple trophies won by Spanish clubs in European club competitions suggest that the ability to field top level players from the youth academy provides a competitive advantage over rivals.

See also Monthly Report n° 19, Demographic Study of football in Europe

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