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Analysis of five major women’s leagues

The 36th CIES Football Observatory Monthly Report analyses the composition of squads in five major women’s leagues: four European (Germany, Sweden, France and England), as well as the Women’s National Soccer League in the United States. The study highlights the increases in the average age of players. The number of expatriate footballers goes also up both on the pitch and in squads.

The economic development and professionalisation of the women’s game are leading to several processes already observed at men’s level. A convergence process notably exists in terms of players’ age. While on average still younger than their male counterparts, women playing in the leagues surveyed are getting older. Up until a certain level, this process will probably continue in the years to come.

A second important trend is the growth of the expatriate presence. While also still below the levels observed in the most competitive men’s leagues, the number of expatriate footballers in women’s clubs surveyed is on the increase. In this case too, a further growth is expected for the next years. The diversity of origins represented in the major championships should also go up.

Finally, as for the men’s game, without corrective measures, financial divides between clubs both at national and international level will increase. The economic development will indeed benefit some clubs and leagues much more than others. The high concentration of full internationals in some clubs (Wolfsburg, Lyon, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, etc.) already illustrates this process.