Ligue 1 heads ranking of youngest players, Serie A has most foreign players

CIES logo

November 14 – Ligue 1 has topped a ranking of the Big 5 leagues with the youngest players.

The data report from the CIES football observatory compared the team demographics from 48 of the top leagues worldwide, examining average squad sizes, ages and expatriate percentages.

Amongst the findings, the study shows that Spain’s LaLiga has the smallest average squad size of the Big 5 leagues at 25.1 players. Ligue 1 follows with 25.5 players and then the Bundesliga with 26.1 players per squad. Next comes the Premier League, with an average squad size of 26.6, with the Serie A closely following at 26.8.

The overall largest squad size goes to the Brasileirão, as each team averages a massive 32.4 players to choose from. At the other end of the spectrum, the Slovakian Super Liga averages over eight less players then their Brazilian counterparts at 24.3.

In the realm of age demographics, the average age across the 31 top divisions of UEFA associations stands at 26 years, nearly a year younger than the recorded average of 27 in the 17 non-European leagues. When it comes to the proportion of expatriates, a notable contrast emerges — a striking 10% difference.

Across the top five leagues, Ligue 1 averages the youngest players at 25.45 years. Some way further down the list lies the cluster of Bundesliga (26.36 years), Premier League (26.45 years) and Serie A (26.46 years), with a large gap to La Liga (27.24 years) which is the oldest league in the top five.

The overall oldest league is the Chinese Super League with an average age of 28.41 years, whilst the youngest division is the Slovenian National League at 24.16 years.

The study shows that European leagues boast a higher expatriate percentage at 43.6%, compared to the 23.8% found elsewhere. These statistics underscore the distinct inclination of European teams to opt for youthful talent, whether nurtured domestically or imported from abroad.

Of the top five leagues, the Serie A and Premier League are yet again neck-and-neck in their results, with an expatriate percentage of 61.3% and 60.0% respectively. Meanwhile, the Bundesliga imports 47.7% of its players and whilst Ligue 1 also notably brings in less than 50% of players from abroad (43.8%). La Liga features the highest percentage of home nation players, with an expatriate percentage of just 37.5%.

To see the full data, click here.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1716365700labto1716365700ofdlr1716365700owedi1716365700sni@g1716365700niwe.1716365700yrrah1716365700