NEUCHATEL: No outfield footballer played a higher percentage of domestic league minutes of a big-5 league team in the 2010s as Lionel Messi. The Argentinean was fielded for 83.4% of total minutes played by Barcelona in the Liga.

This is the second value overall behind that measured for Steve Mandanda (84.2% of Olympique Marseille minutes). The 276th issue of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the most fielded footballer for each of the 42 clubs always present in the big-5 in the 2010s.

The 50th Monthly Report analyses the make-up of these teams over the course of the decade that is about to end. The unique case of Athletic Club Bilbao is reflected in almost all the indicators analysed. FC Barcelona’s case shows that territorial anchoring can be a plus even for a global club. Their success is for the most part linked to the exceptional qualities of home-grown players such as Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué or Sergio Busquets.

Although money is more than ever a key factor, other elements come into play. Squad stability stemming from good strategic planning, as well as the ability of clubs to get the best out of the talents trained in their youth academies and to stimulate a strong sense of belonging to all parties concerned (players, staff, supporters, etc.), remain crucial success criteria even in the today’s hyper-commercial and globalised environment.

About the CIES Football Observatory

The CIES Football Observatory is a research group within the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES). Created in 2005 by Dr. Raffaele Poli and Dr. Loïc Ravenel, the CIES Football Observatory currently comprises a staff of four full-time permanent researchers who specialise in the statistical analysis of football. Click here for more information.

About the CIES

The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) is an independent study centre located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It was created in 1995 as a joint venture between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the University of Neuchâtel, the City and State of Neuchatel. Click here for more information. Click here for more information.

CIES – Centre International d’Étude du Sport
Avenue DuPeyrou 1, 2000 Neuchâtel
Switzerland
Phone +41 32 718 39 00 – Fax +41 32 718 39 01
Email: football.observatory@cies.ch