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Football: Croatia ranked 11th in Europe for fielding players under 21 

Croatia is ranked 11th in Europe for the percentage of minutes played by players under the age of 21, according to a report by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES). 

CIES has published a ranking list of the eighty strongest football leagues in the world according to the percentage of minutes played by players aged 21 and under from 2015 to date. 

In a sample of 920 Croatian First Division games from 2015 until today, players aged 21 and younger played 22.5 percent of the minutes, HNS said.

Interestingly, two Baltic countries are at the top of the overall standings – Estonia (31.1%) and Latvia (27.2%), whilst the third place is occupied by the Slovenian First Division (26.4%). 

In the overall global standings, the Croatian First Division is in 12th place with 22.5 percent of the minutes of players aged 21 and younger in a sample of 920 matches, in the European rankings Croatia is in 11th place.

The lowest percentage in the top five leagues was recorded in the English Premier League (7.1% minutes), and the highest in the French Ligue 1 (15.4%). In the leagues of non-UEFA countries, the highest percentage is in Panama (23.9%), which ranks seventh in the overall standings, respectively, in Venezuela (13.22%) and Uruguay (20th, 18%).

In the last five years, clubs in the Chinese Super League have the lowest percentage of minutes played by players aged 21 and under, only 3.9 percent, the second-lowest figure recorded in the Turkish Super League (4.1%).

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