Which national leagues are sending the most players to World Cup?

AP Photo/Rui Vieira
6 Comments

Nineteen MLS players are headed to the World Cup in Russia, but how high does that place the American top-flight on the list of national leagues sending outside players to the tournament?

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

By outside, we are not counting English club players on England, or Tunisian club players on Tunisia, etc. It’s important to note that we are not using individual leagues (i.e. Premier League, Championship, and League One players all qualify as England, while Swansea City players go to Wales, and Vancouver Whitecaps players to Canada).

Before we get to the totals, here is how many nations have players on their side playing outside of their borders, with England the lowest (all 23 players are from Premier League clubs) and Senegal the highest (all 23 play outside Senegal Premier League).


(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Argentina (22): England (5), Italy (5), Spain (3), France (2), Germany (2), Mexico (1), Netherlands (1), Portugal (1), China (1), South Korea (1)

Australia (17): England (7), Japan (2), Switzerland (2), Scotland (2), Netherlands (1), Saudi Arabia (1), Turkey (1), Belgium (1)

Belgium (22): England (11), Germany (3), Spain (2), France (2), China (2), Italy (1), Scotland (1)

Brazil (20): England (6), Spain (5), Italy (3), France (3), Ukraine (2), China (1)

Colombia (20) : Spain (6), Argentina (3), England (3), Mexico (2), Italy (2), Netherlands (1), France (1), Germany (1), Brazil (1)

Costa Rica (17) : USA (5), Spain (4), Italy (1), Portugal (1), Canada (1), England (1), Switzerland (1), Scotland (1), Colombia (1), Sweden (1)

Croatia (21): Italy (6), Spain (4), Germany (4), France (1), England (1), Turkey (1), Belgium (1), Ukraine (1), Russia (1), Austria (1)

Denmark (20) : England (7), Spain (3), Germany (3), Netherlands (3), Italy (2), France (2)

England (0)

Egypt (16): England (7), Saudi Arabia (4), USA (1), Finland (1), Turkey (1), Greece (1)

France (14): Spain (6), England (5), Germany (2), Italy (1)

Germany (8): England (3), Spain (2), France (2), Italy (1)

Iceland (22): England (5), Denmark (3), Russia (3), Germany (2), Netherlands (1), Italy (1), Scotland (1), Turkey (1), Belgium (1), Sweden (1), Norway (1), Bulgaria (1), Wales (1)

Iran (14): Russia (3), Greece (3), Netherlands (2), Qatar (2), Portugal (1), England (1), Belgium (1), Sweden (1)

Japan (15): Germany (7)England (2), Spain (2), France (2), Mexico (1), Turkey (1)

Mexico (12): Portugal (4), Spain (3), Germany (2), Netherlands (1), England (1), Belgium (1)

Morocco (21): Spain (6), Turkey (4), Netherlands (3), France (2), Germany (2), Italy (1), England (1), Belgium (1), UAE (1)

Nigeria (21): England (4), Turkey (4), Spain (2), Russia (2), Italy (2), China (2), France (1), Netherlands (1), Germany (1), Belgium (1), Israel (1)

Yoshimar Yotun, left. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Panama (21): USA (6), Guatamela (2), Chile (2), Peru (2), Spain (1), Mexico (1), Belgium (1), Colombia (1), Costa Rica (1), Romania (1), Slovakia (1), Honduras (1)

Peru (15): Mexico (7), Brazil (3), Netherlands (1), Portugal (1), Colombia (1), Russia (1), Denmark (1)

Poland (19):  Italy (7), England (4), Germany (3), France (1), Belgium (1), Russia (1), Bulgaria (1), Wales (1)

Portugal (17): England (4), Turkey (3), Spain (2), Italy (2), France (2), China (1), Germany (1), Scotland (1), Russia (1)

Russia (2): Spain (1), Belgium (1)

Saudi Arabia (3): Spain (3)

Senegal (23): France (7), England (7), Italy (3), Turkey (2), Belgium (2) Germany (1), Guinea (1)

Serbia (20):  Italy (4), England (4), Germany (3), Spain (2), Portugal (1), Turkey (1), Belgium (1), Russia (1), Wales (1), Greece (1), Israel (1)

South Korea (10): Japan (5), Italy (1), England (1), Germany (1), Austria (1), Wales (1)

Spain (6): England (4), Italy (1), Germany (1)

Sweden (21): Italy (4), France (3), England (3), Germany (3), Wales (2), Spain (1), Scotland (1), Belgium (1), Russia (1), Denmark (1), UAE (1)

Switzerland (22): Germany (10), Italy (5), England (2), Spain (1), Portugal (1), France (1), Turkey (1), Croatia (1)

Tunisia (17): France (7), Saudi Arabia (5), Egypt (2), England (1), Turkey (1), Belgium (1)

Uruguay (21): Spain (5), Italy (5), Argentina (3), Mexico (2), Portugal (2), Belgium (2), France (1), Turkey (1)

(Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

So which countries are sending the most internationals to Russia?

England — 100
Spain — 64
Italy — 58
Germany — 52
France — 39
Turkey — 22
USA — 18
Belgium — 17
Netherlands — 15
Mexico — 14
Portugal — 10
Saudi Arabia — 10
China — 7
Japan — 7
Scotland — 7
Argentina — 6
Wales — 6
Denmark — 5
Greece — 5
Brazil — 4
Colombia — 3
Sweden — 3
Switzerland — 3
Ukraine — 3
Chile — 2
Egypt — 2
Guatemala — 2
Israel — 2
Peru — 2
Qatar — 2
UAE — 2
Austria – 1
Bulgaria — 1
Canada — 1
Costa Rica — 1
Croatia — 1
Finland — 1
Guinea — 1
Honduras — 1
Norway — 1
Romania — 1
Slovakia — 1
South Korea — 1