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Countries that Export the Most Football Players

Name the countries that are the source of the most football players playing professionally in another country as of 2023.
Quiz by Hugh2000
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Last updated: October 27, 2023
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First submittedMay 14, 2017
Times taken40,884
Average score80.0%
Rating4.32
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# Players
Country
1289
Brazil
1033
France
905
Argentina
535
England
458
Spain
448
Colombia
446
Germany
407
Croatia
# Players
Country
385
Nigeria
380
Serbia
346
Netherlands
339
Portugal
338
Uruguay
318
Ghana
277
Belgium
+16
Level 74
Dec 27, 2018
Really surprised at England being so high, since they're notoriously shy travellers. Wonder how many of those are in Scotland
+4
Level 68
Dec 28, 2018
None. Hence why it say’s ‘England’....

Not surprised at the presence of England that high at all. In fact, I expected it to be higher...

+22
Level 57
Jun 14, 2022
@Fresco I want some of what you were smoking when you made this comment
+4
Level 82
Dec 28, 2018
I'd say most are in Scotland, I know there's a growing amount playing in Germany and a few cashing in in China and US
+5
Level 82
Dec 31, 2018
You don't need to guess. Follow the source link above and under #7 you'll find that 143 are in Wales and 114 in Scotland or 57% in both. Adding both Irelands you get to 64%.
+2
Level 66
Jan 3, 2019
@NellyFurtado created this quizz?
+5
Level 67
Jan 6, 2019
Why is that so surprising? haha
+3
Level 47
Jan 4, 2019
To be a 'professional' sportsperson, surely that has to be your job and the way you earn your money. The source states it isn't counting English players who play for Welsh clubs in English Leagues (i.e Cardiff, Swansea, Newport etc)

The highest tier of Welsh football, the Welsh Premier League, only has 12 teams and it's semi-professional. i.e most players don't play football for a living, but have other jobs in the week (I think only one club has a full-time squad - The New Saints). 12 teams means only 132 players can start at any time .I know clubs will have more than 11 registered players, but even so I find it very hard to believe that there are 143 'professional' English players in the Welsh Premier League (although how to define "English/Welsh" - if mum is Welsh but dad English, are you English/Welsh?), so presumably some play at lower levels which are barely semi-pro. Very few players from England would move to Wales to make a living from playing football professionally

+4
Level 81
Jan 8, 2019
I think that for the purposes of this quiz, English players earning their living within the same country, ie. the UK, should be excluded. Remove those playing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and you have a much truer reflection of the number of players "exporting" their skills.
+9
Level 72
Mar 14, 2019
In football terms, it's not the same country.
+7
Level 80
Feb 22, 2019
I suggest in the title or caveats a) specifying which type of football this is about (despite the inevitable complaints from Brits wrongly believing 'soccer' is an American term), b) indicating that it's countries per the FIFA list rather than the Jetpunk nations of the world.
+32
Level 62
Jul 25, 2020
You can tell what type of 'football' it is by the fact that more than one country plays it.
+3
Level 54
Mar 23, 2022
no like button, so im commenting my support of this
+3
Level 65
Nov 23, 2023
You can click the little heart thingy next to the poster's name to express your support and admiration.
+1
Level 81
Nov 24, 2023
Not really, since a lot of countries send players abroad to play in other football leagues which includes American football (which has professional leagues besides the NFL & outside the US) and rugby football.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_and_Canadian_football_leagues

+6
Level 72
Mar 11, 2019
The one time I assume that the list is about American Football (American website -> football is called soccer in the US) and it's actually about the normal football. It took me longer than I care to admit to realize my mistake.
+16
Level 67
Mar 12, 2019
Yeah football is called soccer in Australia too however I called this Football in this quiz because I think most countries say football.
+2
Level 60
Nov 23, 2023
Saying football is reasonable, but it would be really nice just to specify in the caveats / description. Almost one fourth of the users are from the US.
+2
Level 69
Nov 24, 2023
There is literally a picture of Neymar beside the name of the quiz. Now if you dont know he doesnt play American football, i dont know what to say to you. Surely thats a pretty big clue
+11
Level 68
Mar 14, 2019
The picture of Namar is a good clue.
+7
Level 62
Mar 14, 2019
Only like 3 countries actually say soccer. And there are people from everywhere around the globe using this website so your argument with the American site doesn't really count.
+17
Level 71
Mar 15, 2019
I did not recognise him as he is not rolling around the field in agony.
+9
Level 56
Mar 14, 2019
Wow..no Italy. No wonder the state of football has been so abysmal.
+6
Level 67
Mar 14, 2019
They could be playing in Italy. The quiz is only players who play for another country.
+1
Level 78
Nov 7, 2023
That is surely part of it, but still, the other European 'powers' are on there despite having national leagues.
+2
Level 75
Mar 14, 2019
Export is totally the right word there
+1
Level 48
Apr 7, 2019
USA should be #1
+28
Level 67
Apr 7, 2019
You probably didn't even know there were other countries outside of usa
+3
Level 45
Mar 10, 2020
no thats not true! wheres pakistan its suppose to be the first it produces about 55% of the world footballs!!!
+2
Level 62
Jul 11, 2020
I'm surprised Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland aren't on the list considering the number of people from those countries playing in England.
+1
Level 32
Nov 23, 2023
You need to have 277 expats to make this list. I can't think of a single scottish or irish player in continental Europe, but say there are 80-ish scotts outside UK. 40 teams in the Premier League and Championship would mean 5 scotts per team.
+2
Level 36
Sep 27, 2021
14/15. Left out Ghana.
+3
Level 58
May 31, 2022
Very surprised not to see Italy on the list.
+2
Level 76
Mar 7, 2023
What, do the Italians keep their own?
+2
Level 67
Nov 2, 2023
Very common for top italian players to remain in the Serie A (Italian league) more than any other big country I would say.
+1
Level 42
Mar 29, 2023
This list needs to be updated
+1
Level ∞
Mar 29, 2023
Thanks for the reminder. I'll take a look sometime in the next few weeks.
+2
Level ∞
Mar 31, 2023
It looks like the latest data is from 2019 (this quiz is using 2017 data).

Not sure it's worth updating for 4 years old data.

Please let me know if there is a better source.

+1
Level 65
Oct 27, 2023
The data has been updated since then, here is the new source

https://football-observatory.com/MonthlyReport85

Thanks for the amazing webpage!

+1
Level ∞
Oct 27, 2023
Wonderful. Thank you. I have updated the quiz.
+1
Level 71
Nov 23, 2023
The title made me laugh.
+1
Level 30
Nov 23, 2023
I am really surprised to see so few African nations (and clearly not the most obvious but one) considering how many of them are playing in French and English leagues.