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Professional football coaches: age, longevity and origin

The 56th edition of the CIES Football Observatory Monthly Report analyses the characteristics of the coaches at the head of 1,646 teams from 110 leagues in 79 countries worldwide. The study covers three aspects: the age, the length of stay in the club managed and the origin. The typical profile for a coach is a male just under 50 years of age (48.8) in charge for less than one year (301 days).

Altogether, 28.3% of coaches managing on the 1st of June 2020 the teams analysed grew up in another association than that of the club trained. This percentage is higher than that measured among players in the same competitions: 24.7%. The analysis also shows that almost two-thirds of coaches are former professional players: 64.3%. Defenders over-represented, while former goalkeepers are under-represented.

Issue number 301 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post reveals that Argentina is the most represented nation among expatriate coaches. The 68 Argentinians present abroad on the 1st June 2020 were at work in 22 different countries. Most of them were active in other Latin American countries. Similar to players, their top destination was Chile (11 coaches). Spaniards are also well represented abroad (41 coaches in 21 countries), as well as Serbs (34 coaches in a record number of 24 countries).

Penalties: most in Poland, fewest in Norway and England

The 300th edition of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post compares 35 European leagues according to the number of penalties per game whistled by referees since the 2017/18 season (2018 for summer leagues) as per data provided by our partners InStat. At the top of the table is the Polish Ekstraklasa (a penalty every 230 minutes), while at the opposite end is the Norwegian Eliteserien (every 389 minutes).

The Premier League (382’) and the Championship (377’) in England are the second and third leagues where the fewest penalties are whistled, which confirms the particular style of refereeing in the United Kingdom. This result can also be explained by the lower tendency of players to ‘look for fouls’. Penalties are also not whistled very often in the German Bundesliga (321’), while their frequency is much greater in the Italian Serie A (249’), the French Ligue 1 (262’) and the Spanish Liga (268’).

At club level, the Serbian side Crvena Zvezda leads the rankings with a penalty obtained every 209 minutes. Among big-5 league clubs, Lazio (296’) tops the table ahead of Paris St-Germain (319’) and Sampdoria (325’). Burnley FC is at the other end of the spectrum with only four penalties in 105 matches (every 2’362 minutes), ahead of Newcastle United (five penalties, of which only one scored) and the Norwegians of Odds BK.

Biannual CIES Football Observatory transfer value list

The 299th edition of the Weekly Post presents the 100 big-5 league players with the highest estimated transfer values according to the CIES Football Observatory algorithm. Kylian Mbappé tops the list ahead of four Englishmen: Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Marcus Rashford. The young Bayern Munich prodigy Alphonso Davies enters the top 10.

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, the estimated transfer value of Kylian Mbappé remains very high: €259.2 million. The French striker is still very young and his contract with Paris St-Germain only ends in 2023. With just one year of contract remaining and almost 33 years of age, Lionel Messi (€100.1 M) only ranks 21st. Cristiano Ronaldo (€62.8 M, 70th) is the oldest player in the top 100 list. In total, 22 big-5 league footballers have an estimated value of more than €100 million.

Alphonso Davies (9th, €133.5 M) is the youngest footballer in the top 20 ahead of Erling Haland (15th, €107.3 M). The most expensive players per position are Ederson Moraes (€86.8 M) for goalkeepers, Matthijs de Ligt (€104.7 M) for centre backs, Trent Alexander-Arnold (€171.1 M) for full backs, Frenkie de Jong (€102.1 M) for defensive midfielders, Bruno Fernandes (€104.9 M) for attacking midfielders and Kylian Mbappé (€259.2 M) for forwards.

Most productive German Bundesliga players

The German Bundesliga was the first major European league to restart after the COVID-19 break. Issue number 298 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the players with the best statistics during current season for eight different indicators according to the data provided by our partners OptaPro.

Yann Sommer leads the table for the number of saves, Kingsley Ehizibue (Köln) did the most successful tackles, while Omar Mascarell (Schalke 04) and Jamilu Collins (Paderborn) made the most interceptions. Alphonso Davies (Bayern) heads the rankings for successful dribbles, Sven Bender (Bayer) for accurate passes, Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig) for assists having led to attempts and Robert Lewandowski (Bayern) for shots.

Union Berlin’s centre forward Sebastian Andersson won more than twice aerial duels than the second player who won the most: 210 compared to 102. This astonishing figure is related to the style of play of his team, which fields the tallest line-ups in Europe, as illustrated by the exclusive CIES Football Observatory Demographic Atlas.

40 matches to say good-bye: the hard life of coaches

Issue number 297 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post analyses the employment of head coaches in 84 top divisions worldwide between January 2015 and December 2019. During this period, the average number of coaches per club in charge for at least three domestic league matches goes from 9.1 in Bolivia to 2.6 in Sweden. On average, a coach managed 40.6 games.

The data per league represent a fair estimate of the real ones as we only included in the sample the championships for which we could find the complete coaching history for at least half of the clubs concerned. The club rankings only include teams that have always been in the first division during the period considered.

The highest value was recorded for Club Real Potosí. The Bolivian side employed 20 different coaches for at least three domestic league matches between 2015 and 2019. On average, they were in charge for 11.3 games. Only 30 clubs out of the 766 taken into consideration employed a single coach during the five-year period studied. All current big-5 league teams had at least two coaches during this period.

Easy wins: Lincoln Red Imps at the top

Issue number 296 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post reveals that Lincoln Red Imps from Gibraltar is the current top division team worldwide having won the highest percentage of domestic league matches played between 2015 and 2020 by three or more goals: 49.6%. AFC Ajax is fifth (37.4%), while Paris St-Germain and Barcelona are ninth (35.4%).

At league level, the highest percentage of easy wins was recorded in the top division of Macao (42.5% of total matches), ahead of Tahiti (38.1%) and Estonia (32.6%). The figures for the five major European leagues vary between 18.8% in Germany and 15.5% in Italy. The average for the 151 top divisions analysed is 14.4%.

The greatest percentage of fixtures ended in a tie between 2015 and 2020 was recorded in Gambia (42.1%), while the lowest was observed in Macao (14.9%). Naft Masjed Soleyman from Iran is the current top division team with the highest percentage of draws during the period surveyed (47.4%). Tukums from Latvia is at the opposite end of the table (8.2%).

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