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CIES Football Observatory report on Women’s Football

7 June 2017
Women’s football is currently undergoing a welcome development. At the elite level, the process of professionalisation is well underway in several countries worldwide. Following in the footsteps of the CIES Football Observatory studies, Monthly Report number 26 analyses the composition of squads in five of the world’s most developed leagues: four European (Germany, Sweden, France and England), as well as the Women’s National Soccer League in the United States. The report notably highlights that women’s football is generating more and more international movements. On the 1st June 2017, 274 footballers were expatriated in the 55 clubs analysed (5.1 per team). Only 5 clubs out of 55 did not field expatriate players. Conversely, expatriates played a majority of minutes in five teams: SC Sand, Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg in Germany, as well as Rosengård and Vittsjö in Sweden. The study also underlines that the most successful women’s teams field almost exclusively players with international status. The highest values in absolute were measured at Champions League winners Olympique Lyonnais (97.7%) and Wolfsburg (97.4%). Full internationals also played more than 80% of match minutes at Rosengård, Bayern Munich, Paris St-Germain and Eskilstuna United. While the general level of women’s football grows, the increase in the means at the disposal of the wealthiest clubs poses a problem in terms of competitive balance. The eventual creation of international leagues bringing together the richest teams is an option. However, this should not occur at the expense of the multiple actors having historically worked, and often struggled, so that the women’s game could progress and reach its current level. About the CIES Football Observatory The CIES Football Observatory is a research group within the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES). Created in 2005 by Dr. Raffaele Poli and Dr. Loïc Ravenel, the CIES Football Observatory currently comprises a staff of four full-time permanent researchers who specialise in the statistical analysis of football. Click here for more information. About the CIES The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) is an independent study centre located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It was created in 1995 as a joint venture between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the University of Neuchâtel, the City and State of Neuchatel. Click here for more information. Click here for more information. CIES Centre International d’Étude du Sport Avenue DuPeyrou 1, 2000 Neuchâtel Switzerland Phone +41 32 718 39 00 - Fax +41 32 718 39 01 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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