French dominate European clubs, English barely lead in their own country, finds report

November 27 – French developed players dominate Europe’s Big 5 leagues with almost one in five minutes being played (19.7% of total minutes) by players who grew up in the country.

The data, compiled by the CIES Football Observatory, ranked the French ahead of the Spaniards (15.2%) and the Germans (9.8%).

Of the Big 5 leagues England were bottom with just 7.5% of minutes played by English developed players, figures that are just 15% of Brazilian players in Europe and 1% behind Italy. The report identified that players from 85 countries have taken part in big-5 league matches so far this season.

For the English the stats do not get particularly encouraging when looking only at their own league. The Premier League has only 35% of minutes played by players of English origin, compared to a 62.7% in France’s Ligue1, 61% in LaLiga and 48.5% in the German Bundesliga. Serie A has an unimpressive 39% but still better than England.

The figures are yet another warning signal to the English football hierarchy whose national team are undergoing a resurgence but whose newspapers are filled with stories of English qualified players who have played in high performing national age group teams but are either warming benches up and down the country or looking to develop in Europe, with Germany’s Bundesliga in particular snapping up some of the more eye-catching English talent.

“The greatest values for players originating from abroad were recorded for the French in England (10.9%) and Germany (8.0%), the Brazilians in Italy (7.0%) and France (6.8%), as well as for the Argentineans in Spain (also 6.8%). The English Premier League hosts the representatives from the most countries (54). This figure is 50 in the Serie A, 46 in the Ligue 1, 45 in the Bundesliga and only 40 in the Liga,” say the report authors.

See the full report at

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