Munich - Everything flows, nothing stays the same - that is the fundamental Panta Rei concept of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus which states that nothing is definite and that things are in constant evolution.

That also applies to football and the players who, over the past decade, have become taller, lighter and younger.

So are these just pure statistics or is there indeed an average Bundesliga player? bundesliga.com uncovers and compares the average footballer from ten years ago and from today.

2012/13: Robert Tesche


No other Bundesliga player fits the average mould as well as Robert Tesche. The Hamburger SV midfielder, who spent the second half of the 2012/13 season on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf, was 25.98 years old at the conclusion of Matchday 34, when the data was collated (+0.65 years on the average). He was 1.82 metres tall (-1.6 cm) and weighed 78 kg (-0.4 kg).

Even his performance data was very close to the mean. The defensive player had an average of 60 touches of the ball in his 18 appearances (+4) and played 37 passes (+2). His tackling statistics (24 per 90 minutes) and pass precision (17 percent misplaced passes) was even better than the league’s average (both 19).

The only big divergence with the 26-year-old came in terms of his foul and yellow card statistics. With 2.3 infringements per game, he was almost precisely one foul above the average of 1.4. Also, the league's average being 541 minutes for every yellow card last season, Tesche (223) was a long way below the trend.

2002/03: Michael Bemben


Ten years ago, when the Bundesliga players' average age was a remarkable 2,24 years lower (see stats below), the closest you could get to a 'common' top flight professional was Michael Bemben. The then VfL Bochum defender was 0.35 years younger, just 1.5 cm smaller and 900 grams lighter than the average.

Over 90 minutes, Bemben, who now plays in the fifth division for Wuppertaler SV, had an average of 52 touches of the ball, playing 33 passes (+3), diving into 19 tackles (-2) as well as five aerial battles (-1)

He committed 2.1 fouls (+0.2) per game, had 1.4 shots on goal (+0.1) and would see the yellow card once every 542 minutes. And despite his misplaced passes ratio of 24 percent being the exact mark of all the players in the Bundesliga at the time, that figure indicates just how much the game has changed in the past ten years, only a mere 19 percent having been misplaced in 2012/13.

2002/03

2012/13

Difference

Age 27.57 25.33 -2.24  
Height 182.5 183.6 +0.9  
Weight 79.1 78.4 -0.7  
Touches* 52 56 +4  
Passes* 30 35 +5  
Misplaced passes 24% 19% -5  
Tackles* 21 19 -2  
Aerial battles 6 5 -1  
Fouls* 1.9 1.4 -0.5  
Shots* 1.3 1.2 -0.1  

*per 90 minutes