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Migration report: the rise continues

Issue number 95 of the CIES Football Observatory’s Monthly Report presents the migration trends observed over the last five years in 135 men’s leagues spread across 88 national associations around the world.

A new record in the presence of expatriate footballers was recorded in 2024.

Since 2020, their number has risen by almost 20%.

The import of players from abroad is a phenomenon that now concerns a greater number of clubs and leagues around the world.

Player mobility is increasingly taking place through transnational transfer networks, not just for the most talented footballers, but also for players at lower levels of professional football.

In particular, we are seeing an increase in the migration of players from more competitive associations to less developed footballing countries: the French to Luxembourg and Switzerland, the Argentines to Peru and Chile, the Brazilians to South Korea and the United States, the Croats to Bosnia, the English to Scotland, the Germans to Austria, and so on.

Three countries stand out as the main exporters of players: Brazil, France and Argentina.

While Brazilians remain the most represented abroad, over the last five years their numbers have grown much less (+86 expatriates) than those of the last two world champions: France (+273) and Argentina (+220).

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About the CIES Football Observatory

The CIES Football Observatory is a research group created in 2005 within the Swiss-based Centre International d’Étude du Sport (CIES). It specialises in the statistical analysis of football, in particular in the areas of demographics, transfer values and performance (technical, tactical, physical).

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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.

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CIES – Centre International d’Étude du Sport

Avenue DuPeyrou 1, 2000 Neuchâtel
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone +41 32 718 39 00
Fax +41 32 718 39 01



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