- International transfers of male professional players surpass 20,000 for the first time
- Growth in women’s football continues as international transfers increase by 19%
- Almost 50,000 amateur players of over 200 nationalities are involved in international transfers
FIFA has today published the 2022 edition of the Global Transfer Report, according to which an all-time record of 71,002 transfers across borders was made in 2022, with 21,764 involving professionals (men and women) plus 49,238 amateurs.
There were 20,209 international transfers in men’s professional football in 2022, representing an increase of 11.6% compared to 2021 and even exceeding the levels of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. These transfers – 2,843 including transfer fees – involved a new record high of 4,770 clubs from 182 different associations, compared to 4,538 clubs in 2021. A total of 17,291 players representing 183 different nationalities were on the move in 2022.
Emilio Garcia Silvero, FIFA’s Chief Legal and Compliance officer commented as follows: “The two-year negative trend in clubs’ spending on transfer fees was turned around in 2022, with last year’s total outlay reaching USD 6.5 billion, an increase of 33.5% compared to 2021, yet still below the all-time high of 2019.”
The top ten player transfers alone generated 12.5% of the entire amount that was spent on transfer fees in 2022. Similarly, of the 2,843 transfers that included fees, the top 100 were responsible for almost 50% of all money spent on transfer fees, with English clubs once again topping the list. For the first time, their total outlay exceeded the USD 2 billion mark and reached a record high of almost USD 2.2 billion.
With total receipts of USD 740.3 million, clubs from France received the biggest share of all associations. For the first time ever, Portuguese clubs completed more incoming transfers than clubs from any other association, with a total of 901 incoming transfers in 2022. Conversely, Brazil released the highest number of players, with a total of 998 outgoing transfers.
The impressive growth of women’s football continues
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand now just around the corner, the impressive growth in women’s professional football continued once again in 2022. The number of international transfers has more than doubled since 2018 and the introduction of the requirement to use TMS. In 2022, the number of clubs involved in international transfers went up from 410 in 2021 to 500 last year, a 22.0% increase.
On these figures, Emilio Garcia Silvero, FIFA’s Chief Legal and Compliance officer said: “All of this reflects the impressive strides being taken as more and more female players continue to turn professional. Some 1,555 international transfers were recorded in 2022, an increase of 19.3% compared to the previous year, while a new high of 119 associations was involved in international transfers.”
International transfers of amateurs
In 2022, there were more than twice as many amateur transfers as professional transfers, with 49,238 amateur players moving across borders and joining a club in a new association. Some 92.3% of these players were male. The global reach of amateur football is truly impressive, with 204 of FIFA’s 211 member associations involved in at least one transfer last year.
The ongoing war in Ukraine also had a clear impact on the numbers in amateur football last year as Ukrainian nationals were by far the most represented group of all amateur players who transferred in 2022, with a total of 5,910 transfers, more than 60% higher than the 3,661 transfers completed by French players, the second largest group.
The Global Transfer Report 2022 also includes an analysis of other relevant matters related to the player’s transfer market. The FIFA Global Transfer Report 2022 is available here and on fifa.com/legal
Frederick Marfo is a sportswriter and social worker well known for his advocacy for equal chances and rights for all athletes, especially those with disabilities.