A popular topic of debate heading into any major football tournament is that of eligibility, particularly that resulting from the residency method. Looking ahead to the Euro 2016 Championships in France Ticket Compare conducted its own study to ascertain the number of foreign-born players in each squad, where they were born and how they are eligible.
The data was pulled from official sources such as Fifa, Opta and the squad sheets published on websites of first division club teams across Europe. The system used by Ticket Compare includes all players that have been featured in their respective national squads for group matches and international friendlies since the start of the qualifying campaign.
The outcome of the research indicates that Wales has called up the highest number of foreign-born players, a total of 9, all were born in England. Republic of Ireland has the second highest at 8, all of whom were born in the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland will feature 6 players born outside of the border, comprising of 5 Englishmen and a Canadian by birth. England’s only foreign born senior player is Raheem Sterling, born in Jamaica; however 18 footballers with an English passport will be turning out for other nations in this year’s tournament – 9 players representing Wales, 4 players representing ROI, 5 players representing N. Ireland.
There are 12 players from Africa and 6 players from North and South America that have earned call-ups to nations competing in Euro 2016.
No doubt the trimming of the squads due to form, injury and personal circumstance have forced managers’ to include last-minute changes which has affected the number of foreign born players in this year’s tournament, although the percentage remains higher than 30% for some teams, such as Wales, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Euro 2016 Countries with Most Foreign Born Players
|Country||Number of Foreign Born Players||Player Name||Country of Birth|
|Republic of Ireland||8||Jonathan Walters||England|
|Shane Duffy||N Ireland|
|James McClean||N Ireland|
|Gélson Fernandes||Cape Verde|
|Johan Djourou||Côte d’Ivoire|
|Northern Ireland||6||Alan Mannus||Canada|