Issue number 399 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks the World Cup teams according to the average number of minutes in official matches played in 2022 by the footballers used in the first round. Portugal leads the ranking with an average of 3,378 minutes (between 4,468 for João Cancelo and 2,205 for João Felix), reflecting the importance of the status of the Seleção’s key players within their clubs.
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Raffaele Poli
Roger Besson
Loïc Ravenel
Thomas Gonzalez

Portugal is ahead of Brazil and Mexico, while three Asian teams are at the bottom of the table: Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran. England (seventh) is among the eleven countries whose first-round players have averaged more than 3,000 minutes in 2022, as are the other two favourites for the tournament according to our Impact Score method: France (eighth) and Spain (eleventh). Korea Republic is by far the best ranked Asian selection: ninth.

On an individual level, Canadian Red Star Belgrade goalkeeper Milan Borjan is the player with the most official minutes in 2022, while Dutch centre back Virgil van Dijk has the highest value for an outfield player: 5,160 minutes. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) was the most used English national team player in 2022 (4,830 minutes), while Callum Wilson (Newcastle United) is at the opposite end of the spectrum (only 997 minutes).

Average number of official minutes played in 2022.

Until 19/11/2022. Players used in the first FIFA 2022 World Cup round (20-24/11/2022).