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The relative effect of age in international football: Europe vs South America.

Authors

  • José María Yagüe Department of Movement and Sport Sciences. University of Leon, Spain.
  • José María Izquierdo Department of Movement and Sport Sciences. University of Leon, Spain. http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7248-7298
  • Álvaro Muñoz Department of Movement and Sport Sciences. University of Leon, Spain.
  • Joaquín Sánchez European University of Madrid, Spain
  • Juan Carlos Redondo Department of Movement and Sport Sciences. University of Leon, Spain. http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0050-9638

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.21134/eurjhm.2020.44.539

Abstract

The concept of relative age effect refers to the consequences of the physical and psychological differences that may exist between those born earlier or later within the same calendar year. The objective of the present study was to examine this phenomenon in international professional football, identifying the influences of the continent. The sample comprised 6414 subjects from 225 teams (115 UEFA and 110 CONMEBOL) from the professional football Leagues (PFL). Statistical analysis was based on the Chi-squared (X2) test followed by the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals estimation. The main results show higher RAE in the CONMEBOL leagues (OR = 2.23) than in the UEFA leagues (OR = 1.95). In addition, in all leagues analysed, except in the Premier League of England there was an over-representation of individuals born in the first few months of the year. We can conclude that the relative age effect is consistent and exists in international football.

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Published

2020-06-30

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European Journal of Human Movement