NEUCHATEL: Former world and European champions Ajax Amsterdam have emerged top of the CIES Football Observatory rankings of clubs having trained the most footballers playing in 31 top divisions of UEFA member countries.

The Dutch club nurtured 81 players currently active in these championships, six more than Shakhtar Donetsk.

Real Madrid and Barcelona co-head the table for players active in the five major European leagues (42).

The CIES Football Observatory also developed the Training Index, an indicator weighting the number of players trained according to the sporting level of their employer clubs (through a coefficient based on domestic league and international club competitions results), their employment rate (over the last year), as well as their age (the younger, the better). 

Ajax also tops this table for players in the 31 European top divisions surveyed, ahead of Sporting Clube de Portugal and Real Madrid.

The highest Training Index when only considering big-5 league footballers was recorded for Real Madrid, ahead of FC Barcelona and Paris St-Germain. Ajax, Sporting Clube and Anderlecht are the best-ranked non big-5 league teams. As per UEFA definition, training clubs are those where footballers have played for at least three years between the ages of 15 and 21. The season during which players celebrated their 15th and 21st birthday are also included.

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.