Issue number 390 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks clubs from 60 leagues worldwide (not including B-teams) according to the average age of line-ups fielded during the current or last completed season. Valencia is the youngest team within the five major European championships (on average 23.99 years, 25% of minutes by U21 players), while the record-low figure was observed for the Danish side FC Nordsjælland (22.31 years, 74% of minutes by U21 footballers).
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Raffaele Poli
Roger Besson
Loïc Ravenel
Thomas Gonzalez

The youngest teams in the other leagues of the big-5 are VfB Stuttgart (24.22) in Germany, Southampton (24.40) in England, Lecce (24.56) in Italy and Stade de Reims (24.83) in France. Spanish giants Barcelona fielded players aged 21 or less for the highest percentage of domestic league minutes (29.5%). Conversely, Atlético Madrid and Tottenham are among the five big-5 league teams that did not yet field U21 footballers.

The extreme figures for line-ups’ age in South America were recorded for the Venezuelans of Zulia FC (23.74 years) and, at the opposite end, the Paraguayans of 12 de Octubre (31.97 years). At league level, the figures stretch from a minimum of 25.23 years of age in the Dutch Eredivisie to a maximum of 29.31 for the Thai top division. At big-5 league level, the values vary from 26.60 years of age in the French Ligue 1 to 27.54 in the Spanish Liga.

Average age on the pitch since the start of the season

Current or last completed season until 21/09, % of minutes by age category