Labour Market for European Soccer

After a goal feast at the weekend in the English Premier League (EPL) I thought it appropriate to keep the same sport and look at the European labour market for soccer players. The table below from The Economist shows European clubs are keen hirers of foreign talent. Cyprus are the biggest importers: more than 70% of players in the Cypriot first division are foreign. However, England’s Premier League has the largest number of foreigners (even without the 50 or so players from elsewhere in the British Isles). Among Europe’s leading leagues, France’s Ligue 1 and Spain’s Primera Liga rely most on domestic talent. France, indeed, is the biggest intra-European exporter, with 261 players. But Brazil is easily the biggest supplier overall: 577 Brazilians are active in Europe’s top divisions.

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