FIFA has today published the 2021 edition of the Global Transfer Report, which charts the transfers of men’s and women’s players in both professional and amateur football.
No fewer than 54,739 transfers across borders were recorded in 2021: 19,372 involving professionals (men and women) plus another 35,367 involving amateurs.
Increase in international transfers in men’s professional football, with a further decrease in transfer fees paid
There were 18,068 international transfers in men’s professional football, representing an increase of 5.1% compared to 2020 and signalling a return to the levels of 2019 despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
These 18,068 transfers involved a new record high of 4,544 clubs from 185 different associations, compared to 4,162 clubs in 2020, with 15,617 players representing 179 different nationalities.
Transfer fees decreased for the second consecutive year in 2021 to USD 4.86 billion, a fall of 13.6% from 2020 and 33.8% from the all-time high of 2019.
Women’s football still booming
Women’s football continued to go from strength to strength in 2021, with the number of clubs involved in international transfers rising from 347 in 2020 to 414 last year, a 19.3% increase.
This reflects the impressive strides being made as more and more female players are turning professional every year. Some 1,304 international transfers were recorded in 2021, an increase of 26.2% compared to the previous year, which had also recorded an increase of 23.3%. In contrast to the men’s game, spending on transfer fees in women’s professional football increased by 72.8%, from USD 1.2m in 2020 to USD 2.1m in 2021.
International transfers of amateurs now recorded in TMS
Transfers in the vast world of amateur football have been recorded in TMS since July 2020, which means that the data now covers an entire calendar year for the first time.
The results from 2021 are certainly impressive, with 17,571 clubs from 201 member associations involved in the transfers of 35,367 amateur players (men and women) of 202 different nationalities. Germany recorded the highest numbers of both incoming (5,122) and outgoing (2,651) transfers.
For each of the above categories, the Global Transfer Report 2021 includes analysis on the players’ nationalities, ages, and movement between confederations and associations. For professional players and in addition to the list of top transfers, the report also provides further analysis in respect of employment contracts while also presenting the top performers at confederation, association and club levels. The report also features a complete list of the number of transfers in each member association for each of the respective categories.