Issue number 292 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks countries worldwide according to the number of their representatives having played professional football abroad during the calendar year 2019.
Brazil is at the top of the table (1,600 players, of which 74.6% active in top division leagues) ahead of France (1,027, 74.0%) and Argentina (972, 75.5%).
In total, 186 national associations had at least one player expatriated in the 141 leagues from 93 countries included in the sample.
However, altogether, Brazil, France and Argentina provided up to almost one quarter of the total foreign workforce in global football (22.5%).
Nigeria is the main African exporting nation (399 players abroad), while Japan is the principal Asian one (161).
The CIES Football Observatory Atlas of Migration presents the main destinations for each origin. This exclusive tool notably reveals that Portugal is by far the main destination for Brazilians, ahead of Italy and Japan.
The three main destinations for the French expatriates are England, Belgium and Luxembourg, while those of the Argentineans are Chile, Mexico and Spain.
About the CIES Football Observatory
The CIES Football Observatory is a research group within the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES). Created in 2005 by Dr. Raffaele Poli and Dr. Loïc Ravenel, the CIES Football Observatory currently comprises a staff of four full-time permanent researchers who specialise in the statistical analysis of football. Click here for more information.
About the CIES
The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) is an independent study centre located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It was created in 1995 as a joint venture between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the University of Neuchâtel, the City and State of Neuchatel. Click here for more information. Click here for more information.
CIES – Centre International d’Étude du Sport
Avenue DuPeyrou 1, 2000 Neuchâtel
Phone +41 32 718 39 00 – Fax +41 32 718 39 01