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Brazil No. 1 exporters of footballers in the world, Croatia 9th 

Luka Modric (Photo credit: Светлана Бекетова/Soccer.ru/CC license)

16 May 2020 – Brazil is the largest exporter of footballers in the world and Croatia the 9th largest, it has been revealed in the International Centre for Sports Studies’ (CIES) 25th edition of the CIES Football Observatory. 

The study analysed the presence of expatriate footballers in 137 leagues from 93 national associations at a worldwide level. 

In total, there are 12,051 footballers from 174 different countries currently at 2,120 clubs in the study. 

Brazilians are the most numerous abroad with 1,202 players, with ahead French footballers next (781) and Argentineans (753) third. Croatia, with 430 footballers playing outside the country, was 9th on the list. 

The report also revealed the main destinations for foreign players. For Brazilians, Portugal was the main destination with 221 players there. Italy and Japan were the next most popular leagues for Brazilian players. 

For the French, England was the top destination with 107 plying their trade there. 

Argentineans favoured Chile (106 players).

Expatriate players are present in all of the 93 countries and 137 leagues surveyed.

Top 10 exporters of players by nation 

1. Brazil – 1,535
2. France – 948
3. Argentina – 913
4. England – 554
5. Spain – 525
6. Serbia – 514
7. Germany – 473
8. Colombia – 457
9. CROATIA – 430
10. Uruguay – 358

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