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Age at recruitment: Real Madrid tops the table

Real Madrid squad members were on average recruited at the age of 22.5 years. This is the lowest figure at big-5 league level. Issue number 162 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the data for the 98 clubs from the five major European championships. German and English teams are over-represented in the top positions of the rankings.

As developed in the 18th edition of the CIES Football Observatory Monthly Report, the best clubs focus their recruitment on younger players than less competitive teams. In the top five positions of clubs whose transfer policy is the most centered on young footballers are four Champions League participating teams: Real Madrid, Leverkusen, Dortmund and Tottenham.

In the top ten positions are four German (Leipzig, Leverkusen, Dortmund, Mainz) and four English teams (Tottenham, Bournemouth, Liverpool, Manchester United). Conversely, no German club is among the ten big-5 league teams whose recruitment strategy focuses on the most seasoned players. Italian side Cagliari is at the bottom of the table.