The Soccer Import-Export Business…

Just a quick tidbit today.

The commercial trade in soccer talent is a global industry that shuttles hundreds of players between the leagues of the world every year. The river of money that follows the annual player migration is staggering in its volume and has spawned an entire economy that feeds people like Kia Joorabchian.

So where are those waves of cash spilling into? Which leagues sell the most and which buy the most? You can probably guess the top countries in each category but you will probably be surprised by some of the entrants further down.

Note that these figures reflect the the buying/selling of any player currently registered to one of the domestic leagues, not just players of the country’s nationality. As an example the sale of Ronaldo from Manchester United to Real Madrid counts in England’s column as an export and an import in Spain’s column, Portgual gets nothing. Figures in Euros.

Behold the top exporters of talent between 2006-2011:

And the top importers of talent:

It’s really tempting to interpret this as a guide to which leagues have the best players, the most competitive or most entertaining league, etc. but sometimes a statistic is just a statistic. So let’s stand back and marvel at the amounts of money involved in the modern game.

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The Soccer Import-Export Business…

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