The CIES Football Observatory just published its 55th Monthly Report. The study analyses the contribution of national associations worldwide from the point of view of the production of professional players. The sample includes 55,865 footballers having played during the 2019 calendar year in 132 top or second division leagues from 93 countries covering all continents.
To produce the ranking, domestic league minutes played by each footballer were weighted according to a coefficient of clubs’ sporting strength, calculated by taking into account the division and results of teams at national level, as well as the results of the representatives of every association in international club competitions. The origin of players was defined as the association where they grew up.
Brazil stands out as the world leader regarding the production of professional footballers. Brazilians are numerous (2,748 in the 132 leagues studied, of which 1,541 are abroad), play a considerable number of minutes (1,203 domestic league minutes per year compared to a general average of 1,133 minutes) and are active in high-level clubs (sporting coefficient of 0.49 compared to an average of 0.37).
France is the second world powerhouse, just ahead of Spain. The French are more numerous than the Spanish in the leagues studied (1,744 as opposed to 1,350), but are less fielded (on average 1,260 minutes against 1,360 in 2019) and play in clubs with a lower level (average sporting coefficient of 0.55 as opposed to 0.63). Argentina ranks fourth outranking two other European countries: England and Germany.