International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Mon. 12 October 2015

New study: exporting countries in world football

The CIES Football Observatory is happy to disclose the eighth edition of its Monthly Report, which focuses on international migration in football. The analysis includes a record number of 6,135 clubs and 458 leagues of 183 countries worldwide. With 1,784 representatives abroad, Brazilians are the football global workforce per excellence.

While Brazil is the most represented origin among foreigners both in Europe (1,137 players) and in Asia (437 players), Argentina is the main exporting country at Latin American level (511 players compared to only 124 Brazilians).

At worldwide level, the three nations with the most footballers in foreign professional and semi-professional clubs are Brazil (1,784 players), Argentina (929 players) and France (758 players). These three nationalities alone account for almost 20% of foreigners present on a global level.

No South American country is among the top five destinations of Brazilians. Conversely, three of the five main destinations of Argentineans are to be found in South America. Similarly, the main countries to which French players migrate are geographically close to the home country.

The last chapter of the study analyses four leagues in the United States, where football is undergoing considerable development. The Report shows the marked diversification of international recruitment of US clubs. It also predicts that American teams will increasingly challenge European, Asian and South American clubs in the race for new talent.

For more information or to contact the authors of the study, please write to football.observatory(at)