Revealed: Which nation supplies the most A-League players?

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Australia is a multicultural country which embraces shared values and cultural traditions.

Football provides a clear depiction of Australia’s multicultural diversity through the number of foreign players and cultures that have appeared in the A-League’s brief history.

Including Australia and New Zealand the A-League has had representatives from 68 different nations.

From North Queensland Fury’s Dyron Daal of the Netherlands Antilles to Brisbane Roar’s Julius Doe of Sierra Leone our great league has been graced with players from all over the globe.

In serving true football fanatics we decided to bring you statistics on every foreign player that’s appeared in the A-League’s 13 season history.

The top five doesn’t spring too many surprises but number one may raise a few eyebrows.

Joga Boito! Another resounding victory for the South American giants with the A-League’s most notable Brazilians including Juninho, Cassio and “The Slippery Fish” Henrique.

Home of ‘Total Football’ Holland sit second with the likes of Patrick Zwanssvik and Sergio Van Dijk paving the way for a further 28 Dutchmen who made their way down under.

Other notable nations include friends from across the pond England (29) and Scotland (16) while Adelaide United and Perth Glory’s recent Spanish connections aided the Europeans into fourth position.

Part of one of those Spanish connections is Johnny Warren Medalist Diego Castro who spoke of Australia’s culture as a key reason in his stay at Perth Glory.

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“This has been a marvellous experience for the whole family. They are completely immersed in the Aussie culture,” said Castro.

Looking further into the top 10 brings a more Asian flavour with Japan and Korea following Serbia and Argentina.

Italy round out the top 10 with Alessandro Del Piero putting Australian football on the map after his move from Juventus to Sydney FC 2012.

The Juventus and Azzuri legend spoke of Australia’s multicultural nature as an indefinite positive step in building a community which can be enjoyed by all.

“This country (Australia) has harnessed diversity as an asset without seeing it as an obstacle, and this is the basis of its community life and the cornerstone of a shared value system,” said Del Piero.

Interestingly of the active foreign players Spain command first with Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory both recruiting flavoursome trios for the 2017/18 season.

Six players resounding from the Netherlands are spread across five A-League clubs further reinforcing the amount of quality and knowledge the small European country possess.

There has been a total of 720 Australians and 62 New Zealand players in the A-League.

While it would be great to think foreigners come to challenge themselves in a fast paced, physical League in Australia, a more realistic explanation points towards our beautiful beaches, women and weather.

But as we’ve seen through two of the league’s biggest stars in Del Piero and Castro Australia’s society of people from a rich diversity of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds provide a pulling power that attracts many foreign players.

Data sourced from our friends at Ultimate A-League.

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Connor Gibbons
Connor Gibbons
Football fan and digital communications officer following Perth Glory during the 2017/2018 A-League season.

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