Tag: Nationalities

1Jul

The number of Spanish players in major European competitions increased threefold in the last decade

Cesc Fábregas, Ander Herrera, César Azpilicueta, Santi Cazorla…English squads are full of Spanish names!

This trend increased significantly during the last 10 years, probably the best decade for Spanish football in history. In this period, the national team won two European Championships (2008 and 2012) and one World Cup (2010).

Until 2008, most Spanish footballers playing abroad were in the Premier League, but after the international successes, other leagues joined this trend, particularly Italian Serie A. Still, Premier League kept its position as main destination.

Spanish players in major leagues

As you can see in the chart above, back in season 2005/2006 there were 20 Spaniards playing in other major European leagues and last season, the figure reached 65. That’s a 225% increase!

But what are the reasons behind this increase? Is it just a general improvement in the quality of footballers or is there something else? Spanish sports journalist, Jorge Lema, suggested me that in the Spanish league there are just a few teams investing a high amount of money in transfers, and in other European competitions it’s a little bit more balanced.

I checked the data for both La Liga and the Premier League and he is quite right. If we analyse the 10% teams (that’s 2 teams) that spent the most in each season, we see that in Spain they represent a higher proportion of the total expenditure than in the Premier League.

In practical terms, this means that in Spain there are less teams willing to invest big amounts of money in top players (basically Real Madrid and Barcelona and sometimes Atlético or Valencia). In comparison, there are more squads with expensive players in England (Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City…). This might be a reason why so many Spaniards are looking for alternatives in other competitions. What do you think?

Percentage of the total expenditure in transfers made by the top 2 teams

24Jun
Gerrard

Only a third of Premier League players are English

Last week I wrote a post saying that there are only 4 English footballers playing in the big 5 European leagues. But there are not many playing in England either!

I had a look to the percentage of nationals in each major competition and the Premier League performs really bad. In season 2014/2015 only 35% of footballers in England were actually English. This is a very low percentage compared to other countries like Spain, Germany or France.

National players in the big 5 leagues

This is not something new. At the beginning of the season, BBC Sport made a great analysis about the number of foreign players in Premier League and changes in the FA home-grown rules are trying to push forward players from the Premier League academies.

My question is, does this low percentage of national players damage England’s chances in international competitions? I will crunch some numbers and try to answer myself in a few days. Stay tuned!

18Jun

English footballers overseas: only 4 players in majors European leagues

There are not many English footballers playing overseas. If we consider the other 4 major European leagues (La Liga, Ligue 1, Bundesliga and Serie A) there are only 4 players with English nationality. Well, to be fair there are 6, but the other two have other main nationalities.

So, who are they?

Ashley Cole

Age: 34
Nationality: England / Barbados
Current team: AS Roma
Previous teams: Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, Crystal Palace

He signed for Roma last season after playing in the Premier League since 1999.

Micah Richards

Age: 26
Nationality: England
Current team: AC Fiorentina (loan)
Previous teams: Manchester City

He was loaned to AC Fiorentina from Manchester City. Last week Manchester City included him in the released list.

Myles Anderson

Age: 25
Nationality: England
Current team: Chievo Verona
Previous teams: Monza, Pro Patria, Exeter City, Blackburn, Aldershot, Aberdeen FC, Leyton Orient.

He played consistently for the Italian team Pro Patria in Lega Pro (Italian third category) but he didn’t play a single minute in Serie A.

Taylor Moore

Age: 18
Current team: RC Lens
Previous teams:

He was born in England but he moved to France when he was 7.

As you can see, 3 of them play for Serie A and the other one for Ligue 1. But are there more Italian and French players in the Premier League? Short answer: yes. There are 5 Italians and a whopping 33 Frenchs playing in England.

There are some countries that export more footballers than others. For example, there are 54 Spaniards playing for the other major European competitions, almost half of them in England. But French are the most international. There are 68 players spread among the biggest leagues. Have a look to the graphic!

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