International Centre for
Sports Studies

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Tue. 22 June 2021

Report on women’s club football

The 66th CIES Football Observatory Monthly Report studies the changes occurred during the past five years in ten of the principal women’s leagues worldwide from the aspect of the players’ age, the percentage of expatriate footballers, as well as that of full international players. It notably shows the growing influence of the major European men’s clubs in the sphere of women’s football.

The fresh capital invested has notably stimulated the international mobility of women footballers. In the ten leagues studied, the percentage of expatriates has increased from 21.6% in 2017 to a record 33.0% in 2021. The increasing dominance of the traditionally men’s clubs in women’s football is clearly visible when looking at teams with the greatest number of full internationals. In the first 15 places are 14 teams whose male counterparts play in the five major European leagues.

The development of women’s football in Europe has encouraged more and more players from the best women’s football nation, the United States, to emigrate. In June 2021, with 87 citizens abroad in the championships studied, the United States were by far the most represented expatriate origin, ahead of Sweden (39 players) and Canada (37 players).

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