The 380th edition of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the 80 associations with the most players abroad in 135 leagues worldwide. Brazil heads the pack with 1,219 expatriates, followed by France (978) and Argentina (815). While the number of Brazilians and Argentineans abroad went just slightly up since 2017, that of the French increased more significantly.
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Raffaele Poli
Roger Besson
Loïc Ravenel
Thomas Gonzalez

England’s fourth place is explained essentially by the strong presence of players having grown up in this country in teams of other United Kingdom associations, as well as in Ireland: about 57% of the total number of English expatriates. Germany’s fifth place is notably related to the return migration of numerous players of Turkish origin born and raised in Germany.

Since 2017, the greatest increases in absolute terms were recorded for the French (+208 expatriates), the Dutch (+137) and the Colombians (+124). In relative terms, among nations with at least 100 expatriates, the highest rises were recorded for the Venezuelans (+86%), the Dutch (+60%) and the Austrian (+51%). More exclusive analysis is available for free in the 75th Monthly Report and the CIES Football Observatory Atlas of migration.

Number of expatriates, by country of origin

135 leagues Worldwide, 01/05/2022