The deadline has passed for World Cup squads to be submitted and while Ecuador left it late to get theirs in,, which will kick off on Nov. 20 in Qatar. From the Premier League to the UAE Pro League, 830 names later, the tournament will see players from 56 domestic leagues and 302 different clubs take part in the tournament. Ecuador’s goalkeeper Hernan Galindez has the furthest trip with almost 15,000 kilometers separating Santiago, Chile from Doha, Qatar, but players have come from far and wide domestically to showcase their talents at the world’s biggest stage.
Looking at squads, World Cup hosts Qatar and Saudi Arabia are the only teams with all 26 players on their roster coming from their domestic league systems as the Qatar Stars League will be well-represented at the tournament. Saudi Arabia will also see 24 of 26 players coming from the Saudi Pro League with the remaining two players hailing from the second division. England is close with domestic representation as 25 of 26 players currently ply their trades in the Premier League with Jude Bellingham being the lone representative from outside of England repping the Bundesliga and Borussia Dortmund. No other nation has more than 20 players from their domestic league as Germany came in fourth with the Bundesliga being well represented in Qatar.
But who are the top 10 represented clubs and leagues in Qatar? Let’s take a look:
The Premier League is known as the best league in the world and their 136 players taking part in the World Cup is almost double the next highest number boasted by La Liga. While the big five leagues are well represented, including Serie A without Italy qualifying for this World Cup, the remainder of the top ten leagues is where things get interesting. Major League Soccer’s growth also shows as the league boasts the most players at the World Cup outside of the big five European leagues. MLS Is followed closely by the Saudi Pro League and Qatar Stars League.
The EFL Championship also shows how strong England is down the soccer pyramid as the only second division to make the top ten leagues represented. The English third and fourth divisions are also represented as Wales dug deep to flesh out their World Cup squad.
Major League Soccer
Saudi Pro League
Qatar Stars League
*Daniel Chacon of Costa Rica plays for the Colorado Rapids 2 in MLS Next Pro but is still technically in an MLS team’s system.
Bayern Munich, Manchester City, and Barcelona were neck and neck for sending the most players to the World Cup but it’s the German Champions that won out with 17 representatives followed by 16 each for Manchester City and Barcelona. Again, the Qatari domestic league and Saudi Pro League representation is strong as Al-Sadd and Al Hilal both have double-digit representatives at the World Cup.
For the top ten clubs represented at the World Cup see below, but on-loan players are counted for the club that they are currently playing for so Tunesia’s Hannibal Mejbri counts for Birmingham City instead of Manchester United. There was also a six-way tie for 10th place.
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