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Football’s major migration routes revealed

Issue number 314 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the ten most represented foreign origins in 126 professional leagues worldwide.

The Brazilians represent the biggest contingent of expatriates in 23 championships, followed by the Argentineans (15) and the French (13).

The Atlas of migration displays more exclusive data on international transfer networks.

Players who grew up in France notably are the main expatriate workforce in the English Premier League (47 players), the German Bundesliga (36), the Italian Serie A (35) and the Spanish Liga (30).

The French represent the most represented foreign origin in eight other associations: Belgium (both 1st and 2nd division), Bulgaria, Turkey, Switzerland, Romania, Qatar, Algeria and Luxembourg.

The most frequented migration route connects Brazil to Portugal: 141 Brazilians play in the top Portuguese division and 106 in the second one.

The three other major migratory channels connect neighbouring leagues, with the bigger nation providing workforce to the smaller: from England to the top Welsh division (100 players), from France to Luxembourg (93), as well as from England to the Scottish Premiership (90).

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
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