Football’s World Record Transfers – Pattern of Nationalities

The second view of the top 50 world record football transfers.

Running from 1999 to this year, this visualisation shows the pattern of nationalities – which years players of the same nationality were part of the top 50 transfers, where those players moved from, and where those players moved to.

Selecting any country from the “Nationality By Season” list to the right (sorted alphabetically) will highlight all the instances across all seasons that that country had someone involved in record moves. Similarly, selecting any country from the “Country From” and “Country To” lists to the right (both sorted by number of transfers, highest to lowest) will highlight all instances across all countries, but showing the instances that country was involved in exporting or importing a transfer, respectively.

Selecting any single block from the charts will filter both other charts, and allow you to see the elements that make up those moves – selecting a block from the “Nationality” chart will show you the countries those players moved from and to; selecting a block from the “Country From” will show you the nationalities involved and countries those players moved to; and selecting a block from the “Country To” will show you the nationalities involved and countries those players moved from.

Some top-level observations:

  • The UK has consistently been involved in many of the moves – players moved from the UK in 9 of the 15 seasons; players moved to the UK in 11 of the 15 seasons.
  • Interestingly, players of UK nationality were only involved in 4 seasons – a streak from 2002 to 2005, and then in 2013/14.
  • Argentina, Brazil and the UK provide the most populous representation, together providing at least one transfer every single season from 2000 to 2005, 2008 to 2010, and 2011 to this year. Add in Spain, and that covers 2000 to 2005 and 2007 to this year.
  • Ghana (2006/07) and Ukraine (2007/08) are the only nations providing a single mover, who was the only top 50 entrant in the years of their moves.
  • Only a small number of countries make up the actual countries moved from and to (9 and 7, respectively).
  • Italy is the most populous exporter of talent, with 17 players moving from Italian clubs since the 1999/00 season (including a massive 6 in the 2001/02 season). However, 4 of those 6 Italian moves in the 2001/02 season were from an Italian club to another Italian club. Spain and the UK come a joint, distant second, with 10 exports each.
  • Italy’s last three transfers were to French clubs.
  • The UK is the main importer of talent, with 16 players moving to UK clubs since the 2001/02 season. However, every single UK export has only been to either Spain or another UK club.

Data source:

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