CIES Football Observatory
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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.
Chelsea FC is currently ranked thirteen positions below the ranking that transfer expenditure in signing squad members would have suggested. This is the most negative gap at both English Premier League and big-5 league level. All data is available in issue number 121 of the Big-5 Weekly Post.
Conversely, the most positive difference so far between financial and sporting ranking in the English Premier League was measured for Leicester City: +12. Claudio Ranieri’s team is in fifth position, while only three EPL clubs invested less money to assemble the squad.
In the other big-5 leagues, the teams that over-achieved the most with respect to transfer investments are Eibar (+10 positions), Angers (+17), Ingolstadt (+11) and Chievo (+8).
On the contrary, the following teams are currently ranked well below the position where their financial power should have allowed them to be: Real Sociedad (-11 positions), Marseille (-13), Stuttgart (-8) and Juventus (-11).
Issue number 120 of the CIES Football Observatory Big-5 Weekly Post presents the best performing field players since the start of the season, both in absolute and among U21 footballers. Only players fielded for at least 60% of domestic leagues minutes are included in the analysis.
At the top of the absolute tables in the English Premier League are Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) for centre backs, Cédric Soares (Southampton) for full backs, Santi Cazorla (Arsenal) for defensive midfielders, Mesut Özil (Arsenal) for attacking midfielders and Riyad Mahrez (Leicester) for forwards.
The analysis relies on data provided by OptaPro and takes into account performance in six key areas of the game: rigour, recovery, distribution, take on, chance creation and shooting. A detailed presentation of the exclusive approach developed by the CIES Football Observatory research team is available in issue number 5 of the Monthly Report.
According to this approach, the best performing U21 footballers in the English Premier League so far have been Chancel Mbemba (Newcastle) for centre backs, Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa) for full backs, Emre Can (Liverpool) for defensive midfielders, Nathan Redmond (Norwich) for attacking midfielders and Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) for forwards.
The top 15 list per league and position is updated on a weekly basis on the CIES Football Observatory website.
More than 70% of transfer fees invested by big-5 league clubs during last summer were paid to other clubs taking part in the five major European championships. The team who received the highest amount was AS Monaco (202 million €, add-ons included). The most positive net transfer spend was also recorded for the French Ligue 1 side (+121 million €). All data is available in issue number 119 of the CIES Football Observatory Big-5 Weekly Post.
Clubs participating in the Champions League are over-represented in the top positions of the ranking of clubs having generated the most incomes in transferring players to other teams. Among the 15 top ranked clubs, only Monaco, Liverpool and Aston Villa did not qualify for the group stage of the 2015/16 Champions League. This finding shows the key importance to obtain top level results to be able to transfer players for significant amounts of money.
However, the majority of clubs having generated the most incomes on the transfer market are also among teams who invested the most for new signings (see issue number 118 of the CIES Football Observatory Big-5 Weekly Post). Consequently, among the 15 clubs with the most positive net transfer spend, only Wolfsburg and Sevilla take part in the group stage of the current Champions League edition.
Among the 15 clubs with the most negative net transfer spend, we find some of the wealthiest European clubs (Manchester City, Paris St-Germain, Manchester United, Real Madrid, etc.), as well as not-so-rich teams who heavily invested on the transfer market in the hope of improving results, such as Milan AC, Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion, Bologna, Sunderland and Crystal Palace.
Big-5 league clubs committed 3.3 billion € to sign players during the last transfer window (add-on and loan fees included). This is a 32% increase compared to the previous record high observed in summer 2014. All data is available in issue number 118 of the CIES Football Observatory Big-5 Weekly Post.
On average, during the last three summer transfer windows (2013-2015), the transfer expenditure of big-5 league clubs was 68% greater than in the three previous ones (2010-2012). The biggest increase was recorded at English Premier League level: +98%.
Manchester City tops the table for summer 2015 with a transfer expenditure of 230 million €, ahead of Manchester United (189 million €) and Juventus (137 million €). The transfer expenditure of English clubs (1.35 billion €, new record high) accounted for 41% of total big-5 league investments.
Manchester City also heads the ranking of transfer fees invested since July 2010: 784 million €. In second and third position are two other English clubs: Chelsea (711 million €) and Manchester United (640 million €). The first non-English club is French side Paris St-Germain (615 million €).