In its most recent research, the international football observatory CIES analyzed the individual criteria of 48 leagues around the world, as many as 20,779 players were included. The average age of footballers who get a chance at the highest level was also on the table, and the data reveals that, at 24.16 years, this is the lowest anywhere else than in the Slovenian first league arena.
From month to month, the international football observatory CIES (CIES Football Observatory) serves up statistical ‘sweets’ that attract attention all over the globe and from which various conclusions can be drawn. The last research is particularly interesting for the Slovenian Premier League club. Namely, CIES analyzed the average age of players in 48 world leagues (31 under the auspices of UEFA) and concluded that it is the lowest in the Telemach First League – 24.16 years! 20,779 footballers who played at member level in the current season or in the previous two seasons were included. Their average age on October 1 was 26.38 years. In all cases, the second and possible third goalkeeper are also included.
The result of the new rules?
The closest to the Slovenian league was the Netherlands (24.51), in third place is Belarus (24.55), in fourth place is Austria (24.98), in fifth place is Finland (25.06), in the top ten are also Belgium (25 ,10), Norway (25.19), Denmark (25.29), Croatia (25.32) and Switzerland (25.33).
Is such a Slovenian result the result of two rules that came into force at the beginning of this season with the aim of greater involvement of young domestic footballers? To a certain extent, certainly, but we cannot attribute the low average age to this alone in such a short period of time. On the opposite side of the table are the Chinese (28.41), Japanese (27.91), Saudi (27.90), Greek (27.82) and Cypriot championships (27.73). Among the ‘top 5’ European leagues, the youngest is the French Ligue 1 (25.45), followed by the German Bundesliga (26.36), the English Premier League (26.45), the Italian Serie A (26.46) and the Spanish La Liga (27 ,24).
Aluminum like Salzburg
The Belarusian club Energetik-BGU has the youngest team. The average age is only 20.55 years, the closest pursuer is also the Belarusian team Minsk (21.01), the third is Slovakia’s Žilina (22.07), and Salzburg proves that youth is no obstacle to resounding achievements or competitiveness in the European top. The average age of the team from Mozart’s city is 22.29 years, but the Austrians are not alone in fourth place. They share it with Aluminij, and there are as many as four Slovenian teams in the top 20. In 15th place are Domžale (23.11), 16th Bravo (23.15), 18th Mura (23.33) and 19th Rogaška (23.40).
China’s Qingdao Hainiu is the oldest team (31.48), Greece’s PAS Lamia is second (29.99), Cyprus’ Doxa is third (29.98), Greece’s OFI is fourth (29.83), and China’s Chengdu Rongcheng is in fifth place (29.80). As expected, there are no Slovenian representatives among the top twenty.
44.8 percent of our players are from other countries
The latest Cies analysis covered some other parameters, including the share of players from other countries in individual championships. This is still high in Slovenia and amounts to 44.8 percent, which places the Telemach First League in 12th place. By far the most foreigners are in the Cypriot league (70.8), next to the Slovenian league are Greek (64.3), Turkish (63.5), Scottish (63.2), Italian (61.3), English (60.6) ), Portuguese (58.5), Belgian (57.5), American MLS (51.9), Swiss (48.0), German (47.7) and Bulgarian (45.3).
As for the teams, Pafos from Cyprus has the largest share of players from other countries, namely 92.3 percent. Among the first twenty are only clubs under the auspices of UEFA, there are no Slovenian clubs among them. In second place is the Cypriot Aris from Limassol (88.5), the following places up to 20th are occupied by the Greek Aris (85.2), the Turkish Fatih Karagümrük (84.6), the Greek giant Panathinaikos, the Cypriot AEK from Larnaca (81.5) , Italian Udinese (81.3), English Liverpool and Wolverhampton (79.2), Cypriot Doxa, Turkish Galatasaray (78.3), Italian Salernitana, Portuguese Arouca and Austrian Salzburg (77.8), Italian Genoa and German Wolfsburg ( 76.9), Italy’s Torino (76.0), Bulgaria’s Ludogorets (75.9) and Greece’s AEK and the French Premier League Monaco (75.0). The leading non-European team Portland Timbers of MLS is in 22nd place (74.2), Al-Wasl of the United Arab Emirates is the Asian club with the highest percentage of foreigners (57.1), and in South America it is Chile’s Colo Colo (37, 9).