International Centre for
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Mon. 14 May 2018

Global study on expatriate footballers

The last CIES Football Observatory study analyses the presence of expatriate players in the world. With 1,236 representatives abroad, Brazil is at top the table (+42 compared to 2017). France (821, +45) overtook Argentina (760, -26) as the second biggest exporter. The top 50 list is available in the 35th edition of the Monthly Report.

Brazilians are present in a record number of 78 associations out of the 93 covered by the study. The international path with the most expatriates involved goes from Brazil to Portugal. On the 1st of May 2018, 240 players from Brazil were playing in Portugal at professional adult level. The main destination for the French is England (99 players), while that of the Argentineans is Chile (106).

If we take population into account, the highest rate of expatriates per million of inhabitants was recorded for Iceland (180). This figure is above 100 only for one other association: Montenegro (134). It is also very high for double world champions Uruguay (96) and Croatia (80). In total, expatriates account for 21.2% of squads. This is 1.2% more than on the 1st of May 2017.