European clubs provide 3 in 4 players picked for World Cup
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — European soccer clubs are providing 74 percent of the 736 players who are going to the World Cup.
Research by the European Club Association showed that 544 players from the 32 different 23-man squads are registered with clubs in UEFA member countries. They include 132 based in England after Brazil’s Fred joined Manchester United on Tuesday and Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner signed for Arsenal.
Manchester City has the biggest contingent with 16 players selected to play in Russia, the ECA said. Real Madrid has 15 and Barcelona has 14.
All 23 England players are based at home though none of Sweden’s squad plays for clubs there. Belgium and Iceland each has only one home-based player.
Asian clubs supply 82 players, or 11 percent, to the World Cup. Clubs in North and Central America and the Caribbean provide 54 players. The 19 United States-based players selected are from 11 different clubs.
Only 35 players are with South American clubs, including three home-based players each for Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.
African clubs have 21 players selected, with Senegal picking all its players from teams in other countries. Nigeria has one home-based player.
The best-represented non-Europeans are Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal of Saud Arabia, each with nine players on duty in Russia.