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The rule that drives the sale of players in Chilean soccer

The "under 21 rule" emerged in the 2015/2016 seasonand its purpose is that the clubs of the Chilean First Division play at least 70% of the tourna



The “under 21 rule” emerged in the 2015/2016 seasonand its purpose is that the clubs of the Chilean First Division play at least 70% of the tournament with a U21 player on the court. In this way, the lower ones became the main supplier of the first-class squads, which by obligation or conviction, increased the presence of young players in their squads.

According to figures from the National Professional Football Association -ANFP-In the season 2020 there were 126 under 21s who added minutes, and who later became headlines, some were transferred and re-boosted sales in a local market that was experiencing many difficulties when it came to exporting. In 2021 There were 144 youths who played thanks to this rule, and who had their good minutes on the court with a total of 61,860 minutes played between all of them.

Since the sub 21 norm emerged, Chilean football sold 5 players directly to European football. They are the cases of Luis Rojas, Tomas Alarcon, Diego Valencia, Victor Felipe Mendez and Marcelino Nunezthese last 3 left in this transfer market, taking a leap in quality in their careers and leaving good money for local football.

In this transfer window, Chili sold to European football 3 young promises of 22 years, who left some €8.9 million. Marcelino Nunez of Catholic University to the Norwich City of the Championship -English Second Division-, in exchange for 3.9 million euros. Also from the “U” Católica, the striker Diego Valenciawas transferred for 2.5 million euros to Salernitana of Serie A. Finally, the midfielder Victor Felipe Mendez was transferred from Spanish Union to the CSKA Moscow for an amount that also reached 2.5 million euros.

In recent years, he had already been transferred Tomas Alarconwho left O’Higgins and went to Cadiz Spanish for 2 million euros. It was also the case of Luis Rojas that in September 2020, and with a few minutes in the first the “U” of Chile, went to Crotone for 1.59 million euros.


In recent seasons, Chilean football exported its players regularly, adding 3 transfers to Europe in the same window and 5 in 2 years, something that had not happened since 2014. The last important sale to football from the old continent had been William Maripanwhat in 2017 left the Catholic University to wear the colors of Alaves from Spain.