International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Mon. 22 August 2011

The Annual Review 2011 now available

Less expatriates and greater stability in the big-5 European leagues

True to form, the sixth edition of the Annual Review of the European Football Players’ Labour Market offers a general overview of team composition within the big-5 European leagues. The statistical indicators developed cover the thematics of age, training, experience, origin and mobility of players and trainers. This report is intended to transmit knowledge to the multiple actors of the football industry: heads of leagues or federations, club managers, agents, journalists, without forgetting fans of the game. Elaborated with the greatest methodological care, this report aims to be a reference publication and a working tool for researchers active in the field of professional football analysis. The report is on sale at the Online Bookshop.

Thanks to our partner Opta, for the second year running, the report analyses the performances of players on the pitch. This approach allows us to identify the best footballers in five different key areas of the game, both in absolute and relative terms, according to the collective strength of their team. This innovation will permit clubs, whatever their means, to better target players to recruit, thus optimising their transfer strategies. The rankings presented also have media value. In a few months, we shall see if the objectivity of our view will concur with that of the jury of the FIFA Golden Ball for the nomination of Messi, Xavi and Daniel Alves in the final trio of the award. For the first time, the report also contains a chapter on agents. Download an excerpt of the report free of charge.

This edition heralds a decisive step in the development of our research work on professional football. From now on, it will be integrated into the ambitious CIES Observatory project of the International Centre for Sports Studies of the University of Neuchâtel, in Switzerland. The objective is to transpose to other sports the methodological competences developed since 2005 within the Professional Players’ Football Observatory.

With this new exciting development, the PFPO designation will be no longer used and will be replaced by that of the CIES Football Observatory. The new name underscores the progressive expansion of our field of analysis relative to football. Beyond the demographic study of the footballers’ labour market, our goal is to become more involved also in the areas of performance analysis and predictions.

For more information, please contact us by e-mail or call +41 32 718 39 00.

About the CIES Football Observatory

The CIES Football Observatory was set up in 2005 under the name of the Professional Football Players Observatory (PFPO). Since 2011, it is one of the cornerstones of the vast CIES Observatory project, dedicated to the statistical analysis of sport in all its diversity.

As well as the realisation of two annual reports, the CIES Football Observatory regularly carries out mandates for various stakeholders of the football industry. Our team of researchers is notably specialised in the demographic study of the footballers’ labour market, performance analysis of team and player levels, as well as in the elaboration of predictive models to determine the outcome of competitions. More information at


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