Are there too many Spanish players in La Liga? A statistical analysis

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Are there too many Spanish players in La Liga? A statistical analysis Empty Are there too many Spanish players in La Liga? A statistical analysis

Post by chinomaster182 Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:55 am

We've all heard and maybe participated in the debates about international vs national teams and on how this affects the league and national team. On how EPL and Serie A field too many foreigners. I wanted to compare this paradigm between leagues and actual data and see how it compares considering the population size of a given country, alas i present the data:

(Goal Legacy crops the images, i'll have to leave the URLs Sad)
https://2img.net/r/ihimizer/img231/8926/eplsquads.jpg

https://2img.net/r/ihimizer/img819/6104/laligasquads.jpg

https://2img.net/r/ihimizer/img543/7931/serieasquads.jpg

*I know European teams rotate their squads and sometimes the concept of "starters" doesn't apply, however even in heavy rotating squads like Manchester United their seems to be a "starting" 11. In big teams it was easy to exercise judgement on who the starters where, in smaller teams i had a more difficult time and had to abide by past starting lineups and sites like goal.com. Under the circumstances it might not be perfect, please let me know if you think i have a number wrong.

*The number for total population of a country includes Men and Women. I wanted to include only men to make the data more accurate, but i couldn't find the number for England. If anyone can source me the number please let me know.

All data taken by Wikipedia, Goal.com and other random sources.

Conclusions and unexpected findings:
-I didn't make the calculations with the actual data, but even with what i have it seems to be that More money = More international squads. If Serie A fans and EPL fans want more national teams, than they should encourage their clubs to start making even less revenue. A side effect would most likely be less competitive leagues as a result.

-There is a disproportionate amount of Argentinians, Uruguayans and Brazilians (in that order) playing in Europes top leagues.

-I'm not 100% sure about this, but it seems to be Calcio Catania fields as many starting Argentines as most Primera Division teams in Argentina do (facepalm).

-Red, blue, white and black are very popular colors in high level football.

That is all, comments?


Last edited by chinomaster182 on Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:44 am; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Lex Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:57 am

Pretty impressive stuff from Bilbao
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Post by chinomaster182 Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:58 am

Lex wrote:Pretty impressive stuff from Bilbao

Yes, impressive solidarity, i myself would like to win something every once in a while Razz
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Post by che Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:02 am

pretty sure some of those numbers are wrong... i couldn't be bothered looking at any more but valencia have a squad of 24 atm and villarreal most definitely have more than 5 spanish starters - diego lopez, angel, oriol/catala, bruno, senna (well technically), borja and cani...
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Post by chinomaster182 Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:05 am

che wrote:pretty sure some of those numbers are wrong... i couldn't be bothered looking at any more but valencia have a squad of 24 atm and villarreal most definitely have more than 5 spanish starters - diego lopez, angel, oriol/catala, bruno, senna (well technically), borja and cani...

Maybe your counting players from Valencia Mestalla which i did not, as far as Villareal well... Can any Villareal fans confirm?
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Post by Lex Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:06 am

Assuming those numbers are accurate, Real Madrid's Spanish core isn't any better than our English core, so why aren't they constantly criticized about it the way we are?
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Post by kiranr Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:08 am

Lex wrote:Assuming those numbers are accurate, Real Madrid's Spanish core isn't any better than our English core, so why aren't they constantly criticized about it the way we are?

Because you are a premface!
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Post by chinomaster182 Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:08 am

Lex wrote:Assuming those numbers are accurate, Real Madrid's Spanish core isn't any better than our English core, so why aren't they constantly criticized about it the way we are?

Because nobody analyzes the data (because its honestly a pain in the ass Razz). Much maligned Inter don't seem that bad once i compared them to all the league also.
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:09 am

How are you dealing with dual citizenships? Legally speaking, and Italo-Argentine/Uruguayan/Brazilian is just as Italian as the ones who were born and raised there.

Also yeah Catania Laughing

Also I find your recommendations a bit off:
-I didn't make the calculations with the actual data, but even with what i have it seems to be that More money = More international squads.
If Serie A fans and EPL fans want more national teams, than they should
encourage their clubs to start making even less revenue. A side effect
would most likely be less competitive leagues as a result.

The problem is not the revenue but rather what is done with it. If the league organizers see the lack of national players as a key concern they shouldn't try to get their clubs to make less money, but rather to put that money towards youth development. Other options include setting a quota on the amount of non-national acquisitions, a minimum amount of starting nationals, etc. But making less revenue is not the answer.
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Post by Sushi Master Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:09 am

Lex wrote:Assuming those numbers are accurate, Real Madrid's Spanish core isn't any better than our English core, so why aren't they constantly criticized about it the way we are?
Are there too many Spanish players in La Liga? A statistical analysis Money
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Post by che Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:11 am

chinomaster182 wrote:

Maybe your counting players from Valencia Mestalla which i did not, as far as Villareal well... Can any Villareal fans confirm?

well it's 23... http://www.transfermarkt.de/en/fc-valencia/kader/verein_1049.html i forgot bernat wasn't registered with the first team, all number between 1-25 except 10 and 12 are occupied, cristiano pereira is registered as #25 since that's compulsory for la liga keepers, none of that 43 nonsense

and as for villarreal, they have 8 non spanish players altogether and musacchio, mubarak, perez and ruben are subs so yeah...
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:15 am

Lex wrote:Assuming those numbers are accurate, Real Madrid's Spanish core isn't any better than our English core, so why aren't they constantly criticized about it the way we are?
While the answer is probably not a single factor I imagine that these have something to do with it:

  • Lack of relative national pride compared to Italy and England - Spain is still a very much divided country
  • While they only have a few Spanish players - most of them make the national team so they are making an important contribution nevertheless
  • Lack of Spanish representation within this forum
  • Club football > national team football for most R. Madrid fans
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Post by che Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:16 am

BarrileteCosmico wrote:
While the answer is probably not a single factor I imagine that these have something to do with it:

  • Lack of relative national pride compared to Italy and England - Spain is still a very much divided country
  • While they only have a few Spanish players - most of them make the national team so they are making an important contribution nevertheless
  • Lack of Spanish representation within this forum
  • Club football > national team football for most R. Madrid fans

we shouldn't forget the "fanboys ganging up on any criticism" factor...
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Post by chinomaster182 Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:16 am

BarrileteCosmico wrote:How are you dealing with dual citizenships? Legally speaking, and Italo-Argentine/Uruguayan/Brazilian is just as Italian as the ones who were born and raised there.

Also yeah Catania Laughing

Also I find your recommendations a bit off:
-I didn't make the calculations with the actual data, but even with what i have it seems to be that More money = More international squads.
If Serie A fans and EPL fans want more national teams, than they should
encourage their clubs to start making even less revenue. A side effect
would most likely be less competitive leagues as a result.

The problem is not the revenue but rather what is done with it. If the league organizers see the lack of national players as a key concern they shouldn't try to get their clubs to make less money, but rather to put that money towards youth development. Other options include setting a quota on the amount of non-national acquisitions, a minimum amount of starting nationals, etc. But making less revenue is not the answer.

Dual nationality is dealt by what they chose according to the FIFA rules, Ledesma and Motta are Italian, honestly it only came up once or twice.

Also on the other point, i disagree and let me explain why. Here in Mexico, the Mexican Primera Division has the foreign cap you mention, only 5 foreigners per team. The result is all primera clubs (except Chivas de GDL) have the limit of 5 foreigners in their teams and we actually have as many foreigners as say, Serie A. It seems to be that once you put a cap on competition, every club wants to "exploit" the rule or they might seem to be on a disadvantage, it definitively kills competition and forces many clubs to bring subpar foreigners into the league.
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Post by chinomaster182 Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:18 am

che wrote:
chinomaster182 wrote:

Maybe your counting players from Valencia Mestalla which i did not, as far as Villareal well... Can any Villareal fans confirm?

well it's 23... http://www.transfermarkt.de/en/fc-valencia/kader/verein_1049.html i forgot bernat wasn't registered with the first team, all number between 1-25 except 10 and 12 are occupied, cristiano pereira is registered as #25 since that's compulsory for la liga keepers, none of that 43 nonsense

and as for villarreal, they have 8 non spanish players altogether and musacchio, mubarak, perez and ruben are subs so yeah...

I'll look into both teams, promise Thumbs up
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Post by Guest Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:22 am

Lex wrote:Assuming those numbers are accurate, Real Madrid's Spanish core isn't any better than our English core, so why aren't they constantly criticized about it the way we are?

Because Madrid has an excellent youth program that they sell to other clubs (Borja, Mata, Sarabia, Soldado, etc., etc.). In the Euro u-19 winners team, we had Morata, Sarabia, Carvajal and Alex. Just because they don't make the Madrid team doesn't mean we don't produce a ton of talent for the league.

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Post by zizzle Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:40 am

what kills your findings is that if you take away the Barceloa starters from the Spanish national team it would be no where near as good as the current team as the spanish starters in the other liga teams are no way near the Barca starters

which brings us the the quality of experience and the level of competition (along with other factors that are found onyl in big clubs)


edit: %90 of young players never live up to the expectations...
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Post by chinomaster182 Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:43 am

zizzle wrote:what kills your findings is that if you take away the Barceloa starters from the Spanish national team it would be no where near as good as the current team as the spanish starters in the other liga teams are no way near the Barca starters

Of course, and we all know what Spain was before Euro 2008 and the Barcelona explosion, their poor teams don't translate into a good national team.
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Post by chinomaster182 Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:24 pm

I think you guys are looking at the Real Madrid thing in the wrong way. Look at the other top teams in other leagues (please exclude Barcelona):

Real Madrid: 3 Spanish Starters
Arsenal: 2 English Starters
Chelsea: 3 English Starters
Manchester United: 3 English Starters
Inter: 3 Italian Starters
Milan: 4 Italian Starters

See a pattern? Top teams have International squads.
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Post by free_cat Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:08 pm

I think that the % of italian starters should be over 11, not over the total of the players in the squad, no?
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Post by free_cat Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:13 pm

Interesting work, though I don't know if any conclusions can be drawned up.
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Post by harhar11 Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:25 am

Lex wrote:Assuming those numbers are accurate, Real Madrid's Spanish core isn't any better than our English core, so why aren't they constantly criticized about it the way we are?

They are on spanish forums. Alot of people called them a portugese and, now with the arrival of sahin and altintop, turkish team.

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Post by chinomaster182 Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:31 am

free_cat wrote:I think that the % of italian starters should be over 11, not over the total of the players in the squad, no?

I was thinking alot about this, however i also liked the other percentage. Maybe in the future i'll put in both. Thanks for the interest Smile
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Post by Babun Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:24 am

A better question, how many Englishmen or Italian players play abroad at the moment? Very Happy
Add quality to the quantity as well and you'll see that the situation in Spanish teams is nothing compared to other countries Very Happy
Yeah, even without the Farca players they have Silva, Torres, Mata, Borja Valero, Arbeloa etc. Very Happy
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Post by Guest Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:27 am

Germany, Spain, France, Brazil and Argentina produce the most talent in the world by far.

Mexico has a lot of talent too... but the domestic development and professional leagues are so corrupt and bad that only very few players get there.

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