What will happen to Russian football will follow Serbia’s path: how young people trust RPL, Premier League and La Liga, study

Interesting statistics for young players in football leagues around the world were published by the CIES observatory. It is an independent research team based in the Swiss city of Neuchâtel, working with FIFA and UEFA, as well as Chelsea, Atletico and Benfica. Their latest study answered the question of which of the 60 football leagues they analyzed was the most reliable by the youth. Based on the percentage of playing time received by players under the age of 21, from 1 January 2021.

In first place is Venezuela – where young people trust 18.8% of playing time. It is true that according to the telegram channel “Falcao did not come”, many matches were played there (333) – which, for example, is 100 matches more than in Russia at the same time.

Other interesting facts from the study:

  • Venezuela – a closed and impoverished country in South America – comes in first. The legionnaires are reluctant to go to such a league, the import substitution system works even in football.
  • Venezuela is followed by Denmark, Austria, Serbia and Switzerland.
  • Finally, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Iran.
  • The teams with the lowest average age play in Croatia (25.3), Mexico and Denmark (25.4 each) and the Netherlands (25.6).
  • the oldest are located in Paraguay, Thailand and Bolivia.

How is RPL doing? So do we trust the youth?

The Russian Premier League is in the middle of two indicators:

  • 6.4% of playing time is given to players under the age of 21 (this is between the US and Portugal).
  • 26.9 is the average age of our clubs (this is the level of Scotland and Sweden).

In terms of the latest index, the MLS is also close to the RPL in the MLS – the US football league – where the average age has reached 27.1.

Photo: Edgar Breshchanov, “Championship”

Of those who are ahead of Russia at a young age on the field, the average age is higher in the following countries:

  • Australia – 27.6
  • Costa Rica – 27.7
  • Peru – 28.1
  • Brazil – 27.4
  • Poland – 27.1
  • UAE – 27.4
  • Argentina – 27.2
  • Bolivia – 28.7
  • Chile – 27.8
  • Hungary – 27.3
  • Colombia – 27.5.

What if you compare RPL with Europe?

1. Among the European championships, Russia is in the middle. In 17 leagues, youngsters have more confidence than in the RPL: ​​including the Bundesliga, France (League 1 and League 2), the Ukrainian Premier League, the Eredivision, the Danish Super League and others.

At the same time, RPL, with 6.4% of youngsters, is ahead of 12 other leagues – including the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.

The complete list of countries that precede the RPL looks like this:

  • (6.3%) Portugal
  • (6.2%) Czech Republic
  • (6.1%) Spain (Segunda)
  • (6.1%) Scotland
  • (4.9%) Italy (Series B)
  • (4.8%) Cyprus
  • (4.5%) Germany (Bundesliga 2)
  • (4.4%) Premier League
  • (4.2%) La Liga
  • (3.9%) Serie A
  • (3.2%) Greece
  • (2.3%) Turkey.


Russia is not the first to be eliminated from the World Cup.  FIFA has a huge collection of bans
Russia is not the first to be eliminated from the World Cup. FIFA has a huge collection of bans

3. But who is above Russia:

  • (16.5%) Denmark
  • (13.3%) Austria
  • (12%) Serbia
  • (11.8%) Switzerland
  • (11.5%) Norway
  • (11%) Croatia
  • (10.9%) The Netherlands
  • (10.2%) Israel
  • (10%) Belgium
  • (9.5%) Poland
  • (9.1%) France
  • (9%) Sweden
  • (8.6%) France (League 2)
  • (8.8%) Ukraine
  • (8.1%) England (Championship)
  • (7.5%) Hungary
  • (7.1%) Germany (Bundesliga).

How are the leaders from Denmark doing? Youth teams = success in the European tournament?

We will not look in detail at the leader of the table, Venezuela, but we will focus on European countries.

As their game in the arena of the European Cup is easier to analyze and compare with the results of Russian teams.

Let’s start with the European leader – Denmark. There, young people spend 16.5% of their time on the field.

1. At the same time, in the 2021/2022 season, not a single Danish club reached the group stage of the Champions League (although last year Midtjylänn scored two points in the group with Liverpool and Atalanta).

To understand: Midtjylanna now has 11 players under 21 (all graduates) and 7 players aged 22 to 23 (only one of them is a graduate).

2. In the Europa League, the situation is more fun (but not much) – Midtjylland and Brondby entered the group stage (the former was relegated to the Conference League and the latter did not leave the group).

Photo: Srdjan Stevanovic / Getty Images

3. Copenhagen went further in the European Championship (defeat in the 1/16 LC PSV) – includes 9 players under 21 years old.

4. And the current champion Brøndby has 10 players under 21 (there are no students among them), as well as 7 players from 22 to 23 years old.

Young people have confidence in Austria, Serbia and Switzerland. How are they?

Examine the performance of other leaders.

1. Austria – 13.3% of the time that young people spend on the field.

Champions League – Salzburg has reached the group stage for the second consecutive year, this season it was eliminated in 1/8 by Bayern.

Europa League – last season both clubs (Salzburg and Wolfsburg) were eliminated in the 1/16 finals. this season – “Rapid” was relegated to the League of Conferences and “Storm” finished fourth in the group.

The Salzburg champions’ defense has 14 players under the age of 21 and 7 players between the ages of 22 and 23.

2. Serbia – 12% of the time that young people spend on the field.

Champions League – since the 2020/2021 season, no team has played in the group stage.

Europa League – last year the Red Star was eliminated in the 1/16 finals. in it – reached 1/8.

Crvena, the defending champion, has 6 players under the age of 21 and 2 players from the age of 22 to 23. Partizan, for comparison, has 6 players under 21 and 2 players from 22 to 23.

Photo: Christian Kaspar-Bartke / Getty Images

3. Switzerland – 11.8% of the time young people spend on the pitch.

Champions League – no one reached the group stage last season, this season Young Boys finished fourth in the group with five points.

Europa League – last season, the Young Boys reached the 1/8 finals, this time no one reached the group stage.

Defending champion Young Boys has 7 players under the age of 21 and 4 players aged 22 to 23.

Croatia has the newest championship. How are they doing?

No one has qualified for the Champions League in two seasons.

Dinamo Zagreb and Rijeka regularly enter the Europa League: last season Zagreb was eliminated in the quarterfinals, this time it reached only 1/16.

Defending champions Dinamo have three players under the age of 21 and 7 players from 22 to 23

What awaits Russia?

Something between Venezuela and its current location.

Without legionnaires – or at least (under Promes as part of Spartak) – the average age of the RPL will certainly fall. And the time that new players spend on the field should be increased.

It turns out that we can approach the youth football leagues in Denmark, Austria or Serbia. All trends speak for themselves.

However, it is important to work not only on the number of young players, but also on their quality. Valery Karpin recently spoke about this in an interview with BALL Production.

Valery Karpin

Valery Karpin

coach of the national team of Russia

“If the Russian players play for many minutes, the national team will not get better than that. If these players progress at the same time, it will be useful. I do not know if they will go ahead or not, but quantitatively they will be more visible. This is for a start. And progress is the next question. “

So what will win: quality or quantity? We will find out soon!

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