CIES Football Observatory

n°258 - 08/04/2019


Foreign goals: from Cyprus to Ukraine

Issue number 258 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks 27 top division leagues of UEFA member countries according to the percentage of goals scored during the current season by expatriate footballers. At the top of the table is Cyprus (86.8% of foreign goals), ahead of Turkey (80.7%) and England (68.8%).

In nine other leagues, foreign goals accounted for more than half of total goals. At the opposite end of the table, expatriate players scored less than one third of goals in four countries only: Ukraine (25.5%), Serbia (27.6%), Israel (27.9%) and the Czech Republic (30.4%). The lowest percentage at big-5 league level was measured in the French Ligue 1 (35.6%).

Big discrepancies also exist at club level. The figures vary from 0% (Paksi FC, EA Guingamp, Athletic Club Bilbao, etc.) to 100% (AEK Larnaca, Rizespor, FK Senica). In the English Premier League, they go from 97.4% at Wolverhampton to 20.5% at Leicester City. More data on the composition of squads is available in the exclusive CIES Football Observatory Demographic Atlas.

% of goals scored by expatriates

Footballers playing in a different association from that where they grew up - Domestic league matches played from 01/07/2018 to 02/04/2019

Editors: Raffaele Poli, Roger Besson and Loïc Ravenel