# To have a brilliant football career, it is better to be born at the beginning of the year

LE SCAN SPORT – A study of 44,000 players playing in 119 championships shows that it is better to be born in the first quarter rather than at the end of the year.

If you were born on December 31 and dream of one day becoming Cristiano Ronaldo’s equal, know that you are leaving with a disability. An obstacle that will not allow you to achieve your dream but statistically, it would have been better to come into the world at the beginning of the year. The CIES Observatory carried out a study with surprising results by studying the date of birth of nearly 44,000 players (44,938 precisely) playing in 2021 through 119 leagues. It emerges that the most represented group of players is, by far, that of two who were born in the first trimester.

Thus, 31.2% of these 44,938 footballers were born in the first quarter and this proportion only decreases over the year to reach 19% in the fourth while we would have thought that the players are distributed in a balanced way, around 25% over the four quarters.

## In France, nearly a third of footballers born in the first three months

In France, this teaching is confirmed with 31.4% of players born in the first quarter (639 out of 2033), 26.6% in the second, 23.1% in the third and finally 18.8% in the last three months of the year. ‘year. It is in China that the largest share of players born at the start of the year is the most significant: 43.6%.

So how do you explain this surprising distribution? Perhaps thanks to the categorization system in the youth sections and the undeniable advantage of being born at the start of the year. In France, the years of birth are taken into account to break down the children and adolescents into the different categories, ranging from U6 (born in 2014) to U19 born in 2001. In these sections where the physique can play a determining role, it is sometimes more advantageous to see the light of day early in the year.

## In young people, being born at the beginning of the year can be an advantage

Take the case of a young U10 player (born in 2010) in January, he could benefit from a clear growth advantage over a teammate born nine months later. It is easy to imagine that this benefit, which is obviously not systematic, fades in post-adolescence, when growth slows down. But among young people, it can allow some players to stand out very early to get noticed and catch the eye of training centers.

Fortunately, the trend is not relentless. If Cristiano Ronaldo was born on February 5, Lionel Messi, small (1.70 m), was born in June, like Zinédine Zidane. Diego Maradona uttered his first cries in October and the one presented as the future of football, Kylian Mbappé, opened his eyes in the 19th arrondissement of Paris on December 20, 1998. With a valiant heart, therefore, nothing impossible .

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