Now that the World Cup is over, the focus will soon shift towards club football. A lot has been talked about how the mid-season World Cup could affect clubs during the second half of the season.
We at SportsLens calculated that Premier League players played the most football at the World Cup, totalling 30,358 minutes.
La Liga in the second spot with 16465 minutes of game time
The recently concluded World Cup has not just cemented Lionel’s Messi legacy as the world’s greatest footballer. The tournament also solidified the Premier League’s position as the top professional football league.
As expected, the top five European leagues garnered the most playing time at the World Cup.
However, per our calculations, the Premier League numbers dwarf the numbers managed by players from other leagues at the tournament. PL players played a total of 30358 minutes at the World Cup.
In the second spot, La Liga players managed a total of 16465 minutes, accounting for just 54.2% of the Premier League’s total.
Bundesliga comes third with 12805 minutes of game time played by its players. Serie A is just a little behind in the fourth spot with 12304 minutes. Ligue 1 completes the top five with 10138 minutes.
There is a noticeable gap between the top five European leagues and the rest of the pack. Saudi Pro League of Saudi Arabia is sixth on the list with 5099 minutes. Hence, the Saudi League was the most-represented non-European league on the World Cup pitch.
Outside the top five, Primeira Liga of Portugal was the leading European league with 3895 minutes. The Eredivisie closely followed it with 3513 minutes.
Qatar Stars League is ninth on the list with 3484 minutes. United States’ MLS completes the top ten with 3166 minutes.
Manchester City lead the club list with 4624 minutes
Premier League champions Manchester City topped the club list with 4624 minutes. In comparison, City’s primary title challengers Arsenal are 17th in the list with just 1699 minutes. Seven Premier League clubs feature among the top 20 clubs, and the Gunners were only the sixth busiest among their competitors.
Besides the traditional top six in Premier League, Brighton and Hove Albion was a surprise name on the list, with its players managing 1544 minutes.
La Liga giants Barcelona are second with 4286 minutes, and Real Madrid are fifth with 3539 minutes. Overall, four Spanish clubs feature among the top 20.
Three clubs from the Bundesliga feature in the top-20 list. Bayern Munich were the most popular and occupied the sixth spot with 3350 minutes.
The rest of the top 20 includes one club each from Ligue 1, Serie A, Eredivisie, Primeira Liga, Saudi Pro League, and Qatar All-Stars.