Cosmopolitana League (European competition nationality analysis)

The Champions League and Europa League group stages began this week so therefore I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the different nationalities that featured in the matches this week. In the sixteen Champions League matches fifty-three different nationalities started matches, in the twenty-fourEuropa League fixtures seventy-three different nationalities started games. Over both competitions eighty different nationalities started matches in European competition. That’s a remarkable 2/5ths of all nations in FIFA represented in Europe’s two Premier competitions.

The most cosmopolitan game in European football this week was the Europa League between Wisła Kraków of Poland and Odense Boldklub of Denmark where 16 different nationalities were involved in the game. The Champions League couldn’t quite match the cosmopolitan nature of the Europa League this week though the Benfica vs Manchester United tie did contain 15 different nationalities in the two starting line-ups.

Continent of origin for players who started European fixtures this week

Interestingly it’s not a European nation that provided the most starters in European competition this week. That honour fell to Brazil who supplied an astonishing 72 different players to European clubs this week. 35 Brazilians started in the Champions League and 37 in the Europa League.  Of the 40 European matches this week 30 of them had Brazilians starting in them. South American footballers play a vital role in Europe these-days. Of the ten CONMEBOL members it’s only Bolivia who didn’t have a player starting in a European tie this week. Brazil (72), Argentina (34), Uruguay (9), Colombia (8), Peru (3), Chile (2), Ecuador (2), Paraguay (2) and Venezuela (1) all had players starting games this week.

Africa provided the European competitions with 54 starters this week. The lion’s share of these coming from Nigeria (11), Senegal (8) , Cameroon (8) and Ivory Coast (7). Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Mali, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Algeria, Chad and Burundi also had players making an appearance in European competition this week.

England provided 33 players in starting places to European clubs this week, 10 in the Champions League and 23 in the Europa League. Only Brazil, France, Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Argentina had more players in starting roles in Europe than England with Portugal matching England’s 33. Of the other home nations Scotland provided six players (Mulgrew, Forrest and Wilson of Celtic, Twigg and Stives of Shamrock Rovers and Fletcher of Manchester United), Wales had three (Giggs of Manchester United, Bale of Tottenham Hotspur and Boaz Myhill of Birmingham City) whilst Northern Ireland had two players (Evans of Manchester United and Baird of Fulham).

Despite many countries’ sides being knocked out of European competition the Europa League and Champions League are still relatively representative of the continent. Of the 53 members of UEFA 47 of them had players starting in European games this week. Only San Marino, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan had no players starting games this week in Europe.

 

For full statistics on the number of nationals who started European fixtures this week, see below…

Champions League: Brazil 35 France 31 Germany 29 Spain 26 Argentina 21 Italy 16 Portugal 15 Czech Republic 14 Belgium 13 Russia 13 England 10 Netherlands 10 Croatia 10 Serbia 9 Romania 9 Switzerland 8 Belarus 8 Uruguay 5 Slovakia 5 Turkey 5 Poland 5 Ukraine 4 Nigeria 4 Colombia 3 Ivory Coast 4 Denmark 3 Greece 3 Bosnia-Herzegovina 2 Hungary 2 Senegal 2 Japan 2 Korea Republic 2 Sweden 2 Mali 2 Cameroon 2 South Africa 1 Burundi 1 Montenegro 1 Latvia 1 Austria 1 Paraguay 1 Northern Ireland 1 Ecuador 1 Scotland 1 Wales 1 Algeria 1 Israel 1 Armenia 1 Iceland 1 Burkina Faso 1 Cyprus 1 Macedonia FYR 1 Ghana 1

Europa League:  Brazil 37 Netherlands 28 Israel 28 Spain 23 England 23 Austria 21 France 20 Romania 18 Portugal 18 Sweden 17 Ukraine 17 Greece 15 Slovakia 14 Argentina 13 Belgium 13 Germany 12 Russia 11 Denmark 11 Italy 10 Poland 10 Slovenia 10 Serbia 10 Ireland Republic 9 Turkey 9 Croatia 8 Nigeria 7 Norway 7 Switzerland 7 United States 6 Senegal 6 Colombia 5 Scotland 5 Bosnia-Herzegovina 5 Cameroon 4 Uruguay 4 Ghana 4 Iceland 4 Czech Republic 4 Peru 3 Tunisia 3 Ivory Coast  3 Bulgaria 3 Morocco 3 Chile 2 Jamaica 2 Costa Rica 2 Albania 2 Macedonia FYR 2 Honduras 2 Australia 2 Wales 2 Cyprus 2 Hungary 2 Japan 1 Mexico 1 Ecuador 1 Paraguay 1 South Africa 1 Lithuania 1 Moldova 1 Zimbabwe 1 Trinidad and Tobago 1 Montenegro 1 Uganda 1 Finland 1 Chad 1 Burkina Faso 1 Korea Republic 1 Malta 1 Estonia 1 Georgia 1 Northern Ireland 1 Venezuela 1

Combined Champions League & Europa League: Brazil 72 France 51 Spain 49 Germany 41 Netherlands 38 Argentina 34 Portugal 33 England 33 Israel 29 Romania 27 Italy 26 Belgium 26 Russia 24 Austria 22 Ukraine 21 Sweden 19 Slovakia 19 Serbia 19 Greece 18 Croatia 18 Czech Republic 18 Poland 15 Switzerland 15 Turkey 14 Denmark 14 Nigeria 11 Slovenia 10 Uruguay 9 Ireland Republic 9 Colombia 8 Senegal 8 Belarus 8 Norway 7 Bosnia-Herzegovina 7 Cameroon 6 Scotland 6 United States 6 Ivory Coast 7 Ghana 5 Iceland 5 Hungary 4 Japan 3 Peru 3 Tunisia 3 Bulgaria 3 Macedonia FYR 3 Morocco 3 Wales 3 Korea Republic 3 Cyprus 3 Chile 2 Jamaica 2 Ecuador 2 Paraguay 2 Costa Rica 2 Albania 2 South Africa 2 Honduras 2 Montenegro 2 Australia 2 Burkina Faso 2 Northern Ireland 2 Mali 2 Mexico 1 Lithuania 1 Moldova 1 Zimbabwe 1 Trinidad and Tobago 1 Uganda 1 Finland 1 Chad 1 Malta 1 Estonia 1 Georgia 1 Venezuela 1 Burundi 1 Latvia 1 Algeria 1 Armenia 1

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