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Thu. 27 October 2022

Top training clubs for European-based players

Issue number 394 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the rankings of teams having trained the most footballers active in 31 top divisions leagues of UEFA member associations, as well as the five major ones respectively. Training clubs are those where footballers have played for at least three years between the seasons of their 15th and 21st birthday. The 31 leagues covered correspond to those available in the Demographic Atlas.

AFC Ajax tops the table at the level of the 31 top divisions (85 players trained) ahead of SL Benfica (73) and Dinamo Kiev (72), while Real Madrid ranks first for footballers in the the big-5 (43) ahead of Barcelona (38) and the French duo Paris St-Germain and Olympique Lyonnais (34). Sporting CP heads the rankings for non-big-5 league clubs having trained the most footballers currently playing in the five major championships (24), with River Plate at the top for teams outside of Europe (14).

The Post also presents a Training Index, calculated by weighting the number of players trained per club by their experience capital. The latter metrics combines official game minutes played and the experience level of all footballers involved in these matches. AFC Ajax and Real Madrid also top the Training Index rankings for players active in 31 European top divisions and the big-5 respectively, with Sporting CP at third position in both tables.

Players included had to be present on the 1st of October of the year of reference in the first team squad of the clubs analysed. Moreover, they had to have already played in domestic league games during the current season or, this being not the case, to have played matches in adult championships during each of the two previous ones (B-teams not included). The second and eventual third goalkeepers were considered in all cases.

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