Tag: Serie A

23Feb

Is there life after relegation? (Part 2) How long does it take to return to Italian Serie A?

No football fan likes to see their own team being relegated from the top category. I remember when my beloved Deportivo was relegated to 2nd Division back in 2011 (and again in 2013) and it was hard.

This GIF of a Brazilian kid crying during the World Cup describes how I felt.

brazil-boy

Quite sad, isn’t it? But hey, as I wrote a few weeks ago, sometimes there’s light at the end of the tunnel and teams recover and have impressive comebacks (a little bit like Deportivo this season)

However, there are teams that never come back, and fans need to find comfort remembering better times (hello, Nottingham Forest). In this series of blog posts I’m analysing how long it takes to return to the top category and if there are any differences between the 5 major European competitions.

So far I have analysed Spanish La Liga and also quoted the Daily Mirror’s article about relegation from the Premier League that inspired me to write this series.

Today, my analytical loupe is over Italy. What happens when an Italian team is relegated? Most of them get back to Serie A pretty quickly. 56% find their way back in just 3 seasons, but after that initial period, only 13% get back. The remaining 31% of teams will never return to Serie A.

What happens to a spanish team after being relegated from Serie A BLOG

The chart below shows that most teams only need one season to return to Serie A and, if they take longer than 3 seasons to come back, they might stay in Serie B forever.

When do relegated teams return to serie a. BLOG

But there’s always another side of the coin. There are teams (not many) that can spend a very long time in hell (aka Serie B) and then have a great season that catapults them back to Serie A. That’s the case of Pescara Calcio. They have traditionally played in Serie B but back in 1991 they got promoted to the top category. The following years were not good, they got relegated several times and they even played a few seasons in Serie C. But, hey, bad luck doesn’t last forever. In 2011-2012 they won Serie B and got promoted 19 years after their last appearance in Serie A.

Relegation la serie a  BLOG

11Jan
CC BY-NC the rik pics

Italian Serie A is a haven for footballers over 30

There are 564 players in the 5 major European leagues that are 30 years old or older. Well, at least that was the figure before the winter transfer window opened, now it might be slightly different.

In another blog post published a few weeks before Christmas I was surprised by the performance of mature Italian players and I promised to investigate if they grow old more gracefully than other nationalities. Well, I haven’t done a proper research this time, but I did have a look to the origin of these 564 players and, it’s true, there are lots of Italians!

Footballers in their 30s playing in major leagues

Defenders in Serie A

Serie A is the competition with the highest number of active players older than 30. They represent 26% of the total number of mature player in the 5 major leagues.

As you can see in the chart above, defenders are the most popular position for veteran footballers playing in Italy. Think in Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli from Juventus or Miranda from Inter Milan.

It’s interesting to see that Serie A players lead every single position except for midfielders, where Ligue 1 takes the lead, including names like Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique Lyon, aged 31) or Lassana Diarra (Olympique Marseille, aged 30)

Not even the veteran Premier League players are English

But where are all these players actually from? Which competition has more national players over 30? Well, there are quite big differences between leagues, as you can see in the chart below.

Nationality of players over 30

Ligue 1, La Liga and Serie A have a clear majority of national players, Bundesliga is divided in a perfect 1:1 ratio and in the Premier League there’s an overwhelming majority of veteran footballers from overseas.

But where these foreign players come from? The chart below shows the top 10 nationalities of players over 30. Outside the 5 countries we are analysing, Argentina and Brazil are the most popular origin.

Top 10 nationalities over 30

Summary

  • Serie A is the major European competition with the highest number of active players over 30
  • There are more footballers over 30 playing as defenders than in any other position
  • Less than 1 in 3 players over 30 in the Premier League are actually English
  • Italy is the country with more veteran players in the 5 major competitions, but most of them remain in Serie A.
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