Brazil Has Way More Transfers Than Any Other Country

Full of surprises and cliches, we give you the highlights of the transfer world in 2016.

There are always a few things to look forward at the beginning of a new year; new-year resolutions, new season in some countries, new players for a lot of clubs and new data. 

Yes, this is a soccer nerd kind of article, so if you are afraid of numbers, you better start running. 

If you’re like me and can’t wait to see what keeps this machine that we call soccer clicking, get comfortable and ready yourself for some surprises because FIFA released its yearly transfer report and it is an interesting one.

Ever since FIFA made it mandatory for clubs to use its Transfer Matching System back in 2010, we’ve had the opportunity to see with more transparency regarding how much is spent and how often transfers happen around the globe. 

And 2016 ended up setting new records for both total number of transfers and transfer spending. The final tally for 2016 was an astounding 14,591 transfers all over the world. And to follow the trend, clubs ended up spending 4.79 BILLION dollars. 

What makes that net transfer spending record even more amazing than it looks is more than 85 percent of all transfers that happened in 2016 were free transfers. Furthermore, only 1.5 percent of transfers involved values higher than 5 million dollars. Paul Pogba sure picked up the slack, right?

Now let’s break the numbers down to countries. Which country do you think exported most players? Which country imported most?

England? Spain? China?

Think again. 

Brazil took the crown in both of those categories. 

With an increase of more than eight percent of incoming players, the Brazilian clubs surpassed the English powerhouses, totaling 678 incoming transfers over England’s 659. 

On that aspect, American fans can stay confident that the trend of importing players to the MLS should remain on an upward trend. US clubs tallied a total 358 incoming transfers, which represents a 14.4 percent increase from 2015. 

The most incredible jump on this ranking was Argentina’s. Messi’s compatriots walloped the market and brought home 451 incoming transfers, a 72.8 percent increase from the previous year. 

In terms of exporting, Brazil also headlined the list with 806 outgoing transfers. England came in second with 732, while Spain was way off in third place with 536 outgoing transfers. 

Brazil also led the most transferred nationalities ranking, as 1,642 of the transfers recorded in 2016 involved Brazilian players. Trailing in second place were their downstairs neighbors Argentina, with a total of 922 transfers involving Argentinian players. 

Now, while they might be ahead of the pack in transfer numbers, the Brazilians don’t come even close to the top when it comes to spending. The spearhead of this list should come as no surprise to anyone.

With over $1,372 billion spent in 2016, England bought the top spot on the list. 

There are a couple of notable surprises in this ranking, the first of which has to be China. The Chinese are undoubtedly changing the game with their sheer monetary power. Behind a 168.2 percent increase in spending compared to 2015, China rounded off the top five with $451.3 million spent in transfers. That is more than double of what sixth-placed France spent. 

The other surprise is Russia. They might be a few hundred million behind the top dogs, but the Russians are rising as they spent over $114 million in 2016, a 383 percent increase from the previous year. 

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