Football (or soccer as some like to call it) may not be the most popular sport in all parts of the world, but it is safe to say that it’s the most universally loved game on the planet. While ‘the beautiful game’ is particularly popular across Europe and Latin America, it has followers in every corner of the planet with billions of people following major events such as the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
Being the global game that it is, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the search for the biggest talents of the sport has developed into an international egg hunt with clubs and agents alike trying to find the next Messi before anyone else does, and millions of players dreaming of making a living as a footballer. The dream of “making it” in football often involves moving abroad as local leagues, particularly in lower-income countries, do not offer nearly the same opportunities as European leagues do, both in terms of wages and international recognition.
According to a recent study conducted by the CIES Football Observatory, 26 percent of all players playing at professional adult level across Europe are expatriates, compared to 21.4 percent at the global level. As the following chart illustrates, Brazil has the largest footballing diaspora with more than 1,300 Brazilians playing professionally outside of their home country. Unsurprisingly, Portugal is the number 1 destination for Brazilian players as it allows them to make the move to Europe without having to deal with the language barrier as an additional challenge. With 261 Brazilians playing in Portugal, the connection between the two countries is the biggest migratory route in world football.
The Statista "Chart of the Day", made available
under the Creative Commons License CC BY-ND 3.0, may be used
and displayed without charge by all commercial and
non-commercial websites. Use is, however, only permitted with
proper attribution to Statista. When publishing one of these graphics,
please include a backlink to the respective infographic URL.
The Statista "Chart of the Day" currently focuses
on two sectors: "Media and Technology", updated
daily and featuring the latest statistics from the media,
internet, telecommunications and consumer electronics
industries; and "Economy and Society", which
current data from the United States and around the
world relating to economic and political issues as well as
sports and entertainment.
For individual content and infographics in your Corporate Design,
please visit our agency website
Any more questions?
Get in touch with us quickly and easily. We are happy to help!