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Soccer Players by Country 2024

Soccer, also known as football and association football, is a team sport with 11 players on each team. Players use their feet to move a ball around a rectangular field, or pitch. The objective is to score a goal by kicking the ball into a rectangular frame defended by an opposing player called a goalie.

Competition

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) oversees soccer competition at the international level. The FIFA Club World Cup is currently the primary venue for the world's best teams to demonstrate their skill during most of the 20th century.

Europe and South America were the dominant regions for soccer during most of the twentieth century. In the 21st century, South America produces more of the best players in the world, but European clubs continue to dominate by signing South American players. At the same time, the level of play has improved in other regions like Africa, Asia and North America, such that clubs from these areas are at least equal to South American clubs. Countries in the Caribbean and Oceania have yet to make a significant mark in international competition, except for Australia.

Studies

The Centre International d'Etude du Sport (CIES) analyzes the contribution of professional soccer players by country. Its most recent study of this type was conducted for the 2019 calendar year, which included 55,865 players from 93 countries in all the principle leagues throughout the world. This data was difficult to obtain from players in sub-Saharan African players, so their representation in the study is limited. The CIES study defined the players' origin as the location where they lived before starting their playing career, even if they were recruited by a foreign club.

Players by Country

The following list shows the country of origin and number of players for the top ten countries with the most professional soccer players.

Brazil is the most represented country for players in the CIES study, in terms of both players and playing time. The only other country with more than 2,000 players is Argentina, with Columbia being the third South American country in the top ten. An additional six countries in the above list are European. Aside from Japan, no countries from Asia or North America appear on the list.

  • Men's leagues are listed first, followed by Women's leagues. Some smaller leagues have been excluded.
  • The Additional Men's Leagues category includes: Serie A, Serie B, Liga MX, Super Lig Nationalities, Eredivisie, Saudi Professional League, Primeira Liga, Belgian Pro League, Scottish Premiership, Indian Super League, and A-League.
  • The Additional Women's Leagues category includes: FA Super League, Kvindeligaen, Womens Liga F, NationalWomensSoccerLeague, NWSL Challenge Cup, NWSL Fall Series, and SerieA

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Country
Total Men
Bundesliga
Copa Del Rey
Coppa Italia
DFB Pokal
EFL Cup Nationalities
FA Cup Nationalities
Ligue 1
Brazil104393018932216
Argentina10361512121215
Italy700665699105
Spain5288188718317511
United States424135316122
Mexico421922
Netherlands394234102130411
Saudi Arabia354
Portugal29491910923714
Belgium264115101018315
Turkey250512853
Australia23031221772
India229
France21537343736347541
Colombia14731351913
Uruguay14613833
Ireland98133124961
Germany8556215947133
Denmark8020314191925
Canada72223542
Paraguay71222
Nigeria666611818104
Croatia66184201944
Serbia65610115325
Senegal62212628152
Poland61111514925
Morocco618286106132
Ghana616156811210
Ivory Coast5653551033
Sweden56146813105
Norway535383915
Greece5283121041
Japan5018311964
Ecuador422223
Chile413252
Albania361218151
Venezuela351221
Romania35613111
Cameroon343102410520
Algeria3323244229
Switzerland321829165211
New Zealand3111176
Bosnia and Herzegovina29823812
Slovenia2921531
DR Congo262113529
Jamaica26125121
Mali254714823
Austria253453723
Ukraine23141462
Finland21344431
Iceland21352511
Costa Rica20111212
Slovakia193253412
Peru1811
Cape Verde18214
Czech Republic1710151141
North Macedonia17111
Angola1511213
South Korea1441451
Israel141111
Bulgaria132141
Georgia1313412
Montenegro13321
Curacao1221
Guinea1133316
Honduras1121
Egypt1011311
Gambia101224554
Iran91
South Africa9111
Tunisia9536328
Russia84112
Zimbabwe8111552
Hungary87126321
Panama812
Suriname811131
Iraq7121
Burkina Faso7111136
Gabon71115
Cyprus712125
Dominican Republic633
Togo62133
Sierra Leone61451
Armenia622
Equatorial Guinea682
Haiti53
Mozambique42
Zambia41121
El Salvador4
Lithuania412
Trinidad and Tobago412
Luxembourg4542
Kenya31221
Uganda3111
Uzbekistan311
Madagascar313
Syria3
Guatemala31
Cuba321
Libya3111
Liberia322
Malta3211
Grenada335
Saint Kitts and Nevis311
China22
Indonesia21
Philippines2221
Tanzania21
Afghanistan211
Bolivia21
Azerbaijan22
Palestine2
Moldova21
Puerto Rico22
Latvia221
Estonia2111
Comoros218
Guadeloupe216
Martinique2315
Thailand1
Nepal1
Kazakhstan1
Chad1
Somalia1
Rwanda1
Jordan11
South Sudan1
Belarus1
Mauritania12
Fiji1
Guyana124
Vanuatu1
Sao Tome and Principe1
Saint Lucia153
Antigua and Barbuda145
Bermuda11
Liechtenstein111
Pakistan1
Sudan22
Niger2
Sri Lanka11
Benin110
Burundi1
Central African Republic6
Lebanon11
Namibia1
Solomon Islands1
French Guiana2
New Caledonia1
Barbados2
Andorra1
Dominica1
Gibraltar11
British Virgin Islands2
Montserrat37
showing: 155 rows

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Country
Argentine Primera Division
Major League Soccer
Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A Seasons
EFL Championship
La Liga
Premier League
Additional Men's Leagues
Afghanistan0
Albania122229
Algeria1112325
Andorra0
Angola114
Antigua and Barbuda10
Argentina82540382251492
Armenia114
Australia481217
Austria241117
Azerbaijan2
Barbados0
Belarus1
Belgium46615233
Benin0
Bermuda10
Bolivia110
Bonaire1
Bosnia and Herzegovina31124
Brazil13972451934221
British Virgin Islands0
Bulgaria11110
Burkina Faso133
Burundi0
Cameroon711421
Canada574119
Cape Verde2115
Central African Republic0
Chad1
Chile95742113
China20
Colombia26351647752
Comoros2
Congo16
Costa Rica11117
Croatia314355
Cuba210
Curacao1110
Cyprus16
Czech Republic21212
Denmark5721353
Dominica0
Dominican Republic312
DR Congo231218
Ecuador310101216
Egypt2125
El Salvador40
England143643208108
Equatorial Guinea123
Estonia11
Fiji1
Finland72111
France141141923144
French Guiana0
Gabon214
Gambia19
Georgia1129
Germany13441054
Ghana1354732
Gibraltar0
Greece4134436
Grenada12
Guadeloupe2
Guatemala30
Guinea29
Guinea Bissau2112
Guyana10
Haiti41
Honduras812
Hungary2123
Iceland52113
India229
Indonesia2
Iran1116
Iraq214
Ireland44712323
Israel21110
Italy361228678
Ivory Coast372737
Jamaica8855
Japan431339
Jordan1
Kazakhstan1
Kenya21
Kosovo1117
Latvia2
Lebanon0
Liberia21
Libya12
Liechtenstein1
Lithuania4
Luxembourg13
Madagascar3
Mali235510
Malta3
Martinique2
Mauritania1
Mexico11442400
Moldova2
Montenegro328
Montserrat0
Morocco39346
Mozambique13
Namibia0
Nepal1
Netherlands316421350
New Caledonia0
New Zealand21226
Niger0
Nigeria591546
North Macedonia116
Northern Ireland14315
Norway433538
Pakistan0
Palestine2
Panama62
Paraguay3211121312
Peru4716
Philippines11
Poland861541
Portugal5571519243
Puerto Rico20
Romania112130
Russia116
Rwanda1
Saint Kitts and Nevis111
Saint Lucia10
Sao Tome and Principe10
Saudi Arabia354
Scotland538118146
Senegal528641
Serbia7113341
Sierra Leone132
Slovakia22213
Slovenia13124
Solomon Islands0
Somalia10
South Africa513
South Korea1247
South Sudan10
Spain18373802298
Sri Lanka0
Sudan0
Suriname224
Sweden742736
Switzerland1511519
Syria12
Tanzania11
Thailand1
Togo15
Trinidad and Tobago31
Tunisia27
Turkey531241
Uganda21
Ukraine212459
United States374162635
Uruguay35132913452
Uzbekistan3
Vanuatu1
Venezuela2144312
Wales371617
Zambia112
Zimbabwe1313
showing: 163 rows

Soccer Players by Country 2024

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Country
# In Pro Leagues (Women)
Womens A-League
Womens Belgian Super League
Womens Brasileirao Feminino Serie
Womens Championnat De France De Football Feminin Seasons
Womens Damallsvenskan
Womens Eredivisie Vrouwen
Additional Womens Leagues
Afghanistan110
Albania33
Algeria3120
Andorra11
Argentina1376
Aruba3120
Australia2021703821
Austria10118
Azerbaijan110
Belarus211
Belgium203186269
Bosnia and Herzegovina44
Brazil432394335
Bulgaria110
Cameroon12714
Canada71276155
Chile81214
China7115
Colombia21129
Costa Rica44
Croatia11
Czech Republic514
Denmark1631511146
DR Congo110
Ecuador11
England124321118
Equatorial Guinea431
Faroe Islands615
Finland3812116
France2261117441
Germany26135314
Ghana523
Greece211
Guatemala22
Guyana11
Haiti660
Hungary413
Iceland161726
Ireland22220
Israel110
Italy1351134
Ivory Coast5122
Jamaica21318
Japan3034122
Lithuania22
Luxembourg220
Malawi110
Mali110
Malta55
Mexico1616
Montenegro110
Morocco122334
Netherlands2591144222315
New Zealand42251214
Nigeria248313
North Macedonia11
Northern Ireland44
Norway351925
Panama312
Paraguay11101
Philippines84130
Poland1217112
Portugal6123
Puerto Rico44
Romania312
Russia2110
Saint Kitts and Nevis110
Scotland21219
Serbia7214
Slovakia5113
Slovenia7115
South Africa44
South Korea312
Spain111111108
Suriname110
Sweden286325231
Switzerland1512417
Tanzania110
Thailand11
Trinidad and Tobago110
Tunisia110
Uganda413
United States678211110161628
Uruguay743
Venezuela151410
Wales1616
Zambia11
showing: 88 rows

Soccer Players by Country 2024

Which country plays the most football?

Football is a popular sport around the world, but it is most popular in the countries of England, Spain, Italy, France, Brazil, and Argentina.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources