State of the Game: How UK's world football map has changed

State of the Game

Foreign footballers now appear in almost two thirds of minutes played in the Premier League - and here you can see exactly where they come from.

A BBC Sport study has calculated the total minutes played by each nationality in the English top flight, Championship and Scottish Premiership so far this season. We compared this with data from the whole of the 2007-8 season.

You can see just how things have changed on the world map of UK football by clicking on individual countries. The darker the colour the more minutes players from that country have played.

Interactive
  • Premier League
  • The Championship
  • Scottish Premiership
  • Overall

2013-14

Top countries

1. England32.26

2. France8.10

3. Spain6.27

4. Ireland4.77

5. Netherlands4.00

6. Belgium3.59

7. Scotland3.27

8. Wales3.17

9. Brazil2.76

10. Argentina2.09

Reset

Who plays the most football? Minutes played per nation (%)

More than 5.0% 1.0-5.0% 0.1%-0.9% Less than 0.1% No data

2007-08

Top countries

1. England35.43

2. Ireland6.03

3. France5.91

4. Spain3.20

5. Scotland3.01

6. USA2.89

7. Netherlands2.66

8. Wales2.52

9. Brazil2.37

10. N Ireland2.34

Reset

Premier League

2013-14

English players made up the highest percentage of minutes played in the Premier League at 32% of the total, with French players second and Spanish third.

The minutes played by players from Russia and Asia has also diminished in contrast to seven years ago, with Russia having no players playing in the English top flight.

Top countries

1. England32.26

2. France8.10

3. Spain6.27

4. Ireland4.77

5. Netherlands4.00

6. Belgium3.59

7. Scotland3.27

8. Wales3.17

9. Brazil2.76

10. Argentina2.09

Who plays the most football? Minutes played per nation (%)

More than 5.0% 1.0-5.0% 0.1%-0.9% Less than 0.1% No data

2007-08

In the 2007-08 season, English players once again made up the highest percentage (35%) of minutes played in the top tier.

Scotland remained in the top five and Northern Ireland in the top 10 in this season. Both have fallen in the 2013-14 figures.

Top countries

1. England35.43

2. Ireland6.03

3. France5.91

4. Spain3.20

5. Scotland3.01

6. USA2.89

7. Netherlands2.66

8. Wales2.52

9. Brazil2.37

10. N Ireland2.34

Who plays the most football? Minutes played per nation (%)

More than 5.0% 1.0-5.0% 0.1%-0.9% Less than 0.1% No data

The Championship

2013-14

England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland made up the top four most represented countries in terms of minutes played.

Jamaica were the next most represented team and even came above Northern Ireland.

Top countries

1. England55.44

2. Scotland8.72

3. Ireland8.34

4. Wales4.53

5. Jamaica2.41

6. France2.01

7. N Ireland1.82

8. Spain1.82

9. Italy1.46

10. USA1.10

Who plays the most football? Minutes played per nation (%)

More than 5.0% 1.0-5.0% 0.1%-0.9% Less than 0.1% No data

2007-08

Jamaica, Hungary and Nigeria made up the top 10 in the 2007-08 season in the Championship.

But England, Scotland, Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland were still five of the top six for minutes played.

Top countries

1. England48.37%

2. Ireland11.73%

3. Scotland8.50%

4. Jamaica3.79%

5. Wales3.69%

6. N Ireland3.01%

7. Hungary2.08%

8. Nigeria1.72%

9. France1.62%

10. Netherlands1.35%

Who plays the most football? Minutes played per nation (%)

More than 5.0% 1.0-5.0% 0.1%-0.9% Less than 0.1% No data

Scottish Premiership

2013-14

Scottish players delivered over half of their top-flight representation, with 57.2% of minutes played coming from the country.

Netherlands edged Wales out of the top five, while Australia, Switzerland and Nigeria were also in the top 10.

Top countries

1. Scotland57.19%

2. England16.41%

3. Ireland8.65%

4. N Ireland3.61%

5. Netherlands2.96%

6. Wales1.84%

7. Australia1.35%

8. Nigeria1.16%

9. Switzerland1.04%

10. France0.94%

Who plays the most football? Minutes played per nation (%)

More than 5.0% 1.0-5.0% 0.1%-0.9% Less than 0.1% No data

2007-08

Wales and Northern Ireland did not feature in the top 10 in this season.

Lithuania, Poland and Portugal made the top 10, while the top three remained Scotland, England and the Republic of Ireland.

Top countries

1. Scotland57.36%

2. England10.40%

3. Ireland6.39%

4. Spain2.05%

5. Netherlands2.01%

6. Lithuania1.81%

7. France1.76%

8. Australia1.44%

9. Poland1.39%

10. Portugal1.35%

Who plays the most football? Minutes played per nation (%)

More than 5.0% 1.0-5.0% 0.1%-0.9% Less than 0.1% No data

Overall

2013-14

English players get the most minutes on average when the Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premiership are added together.

Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Wales come second, third and fourth, while France, Spain and the Netherlands feature heavily.

Top countries

1. England40.30%

2. Scotland17.87%

3. Ireland7.40%

4. Wales3.55%

5. France3.49%

6. Spain2.67%

7. Netherlands2.05%

8. N Ireland1.97%

9. Jamaica1.26%

10. Belgium1.20%

Who plays the most football? Minutes played per nation (%)

More than 5.0% 1.0-5.0% 0.1%-0.9% Less than 0.1% No data

2007-08

France made it into the top five in terms of minutes played in this season when the Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premiership are added together.

They are the only nation to oust England, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales from the top six.

Top countries

1. England36.72%

2. Scotland16.26%

3. Ireland8.83%

4. France3.04%

5. Wales2.65%

6. N Ireland2.46%

7. Jamaica2.33%

8. Netherlands1.91%

9. Spain1.73%

10. Nigeria1.58%

Who plays the most football? Minutes played per nation (%)

More than 5.0% 1.0-5.0% 0.1%-0.9% Less than 0.1% No data
  • Premier League
  • The Championship
  • Scottish Premiership
  • Overall

Download the data

The figures are supplied by Opta and based on percentages of all minutes played per nation in the 2007/08 season, and the 2013-14 season to Oct 1, 2013.

• Figures amended at 13:00 BST due to Serbia being counted twice

More on This Story

Related Stories

More UK stories

RSS

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.