International transfers rose to 54,739 in 2021

The FIFA Global Transfer Report reflects the increase in international transfers in 2021 to a total figure of 54,739, which includes 18,068 moves in men’s professional football, despite a reduction in spending of 13.6% compared to 2020, and also a growth in women’s with 1,304 operations.

The document published this Friday also includes for the first time the movements in amateur football, so that in the year that has just ended, 19,372 transfers of professional footballers between men and women and 35,367 of amateur players took place.

According to data from the FIFA, the 18,068 transfers in men’s professional football represent 5.1% more than in 2020 and indicate that, despite the pandemic situation, it is returning to 2019 levels.

In that year, the total number of operations was 18,080, higher than that of 2020, with 17,190, and also that of previous years, with 16,550 in 2018 and 15,662 in 2017.

Despite the increase in transfers, the amount of transfers fell for the second consecutive year to 4,865 million dollars, which represents a decrease of 13.6% compared to 2020 and 33.8% compared to the historical record registered in 2019 .


The first ten transfers for their amount were those of the Belgian Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan/Chelsea), the Englishman Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund/Manchester United), the Moroccan Achraff Hakimi (Inter Milan/PSG), the Frenchman Raphael Varane (Real Madrid /Manchester United), the Englishman Tammy Abraham (Chelsea/Rome), the Frenchman Ibrahima Konaté (Leipizig/Liverpool), the Danish Martin Odegaard (Real Madrid/Arsenal), the Ivorian Amad Diallo (Atalanta/Manchester United), the Frenchman Eduardo Camavinga (Stade Rennais/Real Madrid) and the Spaniard Bryan Gil (Sevilla/Tottenham)

These ten movements generated almost 15% of the total expenses and of the 2,217 operations with commissions, the first 100 were responsible for more than 50% of the total expense.

The movements of 2021 represent a new record for club involvement, since they were made between 4,544, compared to 4,162 in 2020, belonging to 185 different federations.

Last year’s operations involved 15,617 players from 179 nationalities. Brazil is at the top of the table by country (1,749), followed by Argentina (896), Great Britain (837), France (772), Colombia (653), Nigeria (624), Spain (537), Ghana (456) , Serbia (446) and the Netherlands (408).

By total spending, the French players lead the table with 643.6 million dollars, with the Brazilians in second place (468.4) and the Spanish in third position (307.2), ahead of the Argentines (292.6) and the British (286.5).

Brazil (784), Portugal (745) and Spain (581) are the countries that have made the most incoming transfers, while in the classification of outgoing transfers England (885) appears in first place, followed by Brazil (820), Portugal ( 707) and Spain (686).

The FIFA report indicates that the majority of transfers affected players without a contract (66.8%), which indicates an increase of more than 4 percentage points compared to 2020, and those made from club to club accounted for 11, 4%, down from 13% in 2017.


Within women’s football and with a growth in the number of professional players, in 2021 there were 1,304 international transfers, which show an increase of 26.2% compared to 2020, the year in which there was also an increase of 23.3%.

Contrary to what happened in men’s soccer, the total transfer expense of professional players increased by 72.8%, from 1.2 to 2.1 million dollars.

The clubs involved in the international transfers of players rose from 347 in 2020 to 414 in 2021 and represent a growth of 19.3%

FIFA recalled that since July 2020 the transfer correlation system also includes most operations in amateur football, which in 2021 involved 35,367 transfers of players of 202 nationalities between 17,571 clubs.

These affected 201 FIFA federations, with a record for Germany, which closed 5,122 signings and 2,651 transfers.