How many professional soccer teams are there in the world?

How many professional soccer teams are there in the world?

Ciku Njuguna
June 3, 2023 at 8:21 PM
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English Premier League logo
ENG Premier League
UEFA Champions League logo

With over 250 million registered participants and billions of spectators, football takes centre stage as one of the most loved forms of competitive sport globally. As one of the most enjoyed sports, soccer has a dedicated participant and fan base, which allows the sport to grow exponentially. Dig in here to learn more about how many professional soccer teams there are.

All soccer teams in the world
Uzbekistan players celebrate their victory during the AFC U20 Asian Cup Uzbekistan finals match against Iraq at Bunyodkor Stadium on March 18, 2023, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Photo by Zhizhao Wu.
Source: Getty Images

Millions of men and women in every continent participate in amateur and professional games. This article will give a detailed snapshot of professional soccer teams worldwide.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is mandated with governing local, national and international clubs and developing the sport. For centuries, the sport has evolved from rock and animal hide balls to modern technology and scientific sophistication.

As of May 2023, the federation supports 211 affiliated associations under six confederations financially and logistically. These confederations include CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, CAF, UEFA, AFC, and OFC. Here are details of the football statistics based on the 2019 FIFA Professional Football Report.

Top 10 football clubs in the world
Los Angeles Galaxy forward Dejan Joveljic (Centre) takes control of the ball against Minnesota United FC defender Michael Boxall (Right) during a Major League Soccer game at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on September 18, 2021. Photo by John Autey/MediaNews Group/St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Source: Getty Images


Member nations

Professional clubs

Number of professional players


Asian Football Confederation

45 countries




Confederation Africaine de Football

54 countries




Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football

35 countries




Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol

10 countries




Oceania Football Confederation

11 countries




Union des Associations Europeennes de Football

55 countries



How many professional football players are there in the world in 2023?

In 2019, FIFA recorded over 128,000 pro-football players playing in 3,903 professional clubs all around the world. According to a 2021 FIFA report, the professional soccer landscape has increased to include over 4,400 teams with 130,000 players. Statista noted that Brazil has the highest number of professional soccer clubs, 656 out of 4,415, with Mexico following in second with 245 soccer teams.

Professional soccer teams in the world
Brazil's football team celebrates winning the South American Under-20 CONMEBOL tournament after a match against Uruguay in Bogota, Colombia, on February 12, 2023. Photo by Sebastian Barros/NurPhoto.
Source: Getty Images

How many football leagues are in the world?

According to Football History, there are 23 top domestic associations in the world today. In 1888, the earliest domestic association, the Football League, was established in England. Although the actual number has yet to be revealed, hundreds of professional and semi-pro associations have been created all around the globe.

How many professional soccer teams are there in Europe?

Historians credit Mesoamerican cultures with the emergence of soccer as a sport. However, the roots of modern development in the sport can be traced to 19th-century England.

At the time of writing, European soccer is governed by the UEFA, with 55 national association members. Each member association is tasked with running its domestic sport, while the national associations run national tournaments. All across Europe, 40 professional soccer divisions represent more than 1000 clubs in 34 countries.

How many football teams are there in the Premier League?
Tosaint Ricketts (Centre) of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC kicks the ball past Jordan Wilson (Right) of York United FC during the Canadian Championship game at BC Place on June 22, 2022, in Vancouver, Canada. Photo by Christopher Morris - Corbis.
Source: Getty Images


Number of teams

Österreichische Fußball Bundesliga (Austria)


Azerbaijan Professional League


Pro League


Ligová Fotbalová Asociace (Czech)


Divisionsforeningen (Denmark)


Premier League


English Football League




The Finnish League


Ligue de Football Professionnel (France)


DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH (Germany)


Super League Greece


Israeli Professional Leagues


Lega Serie A


Lega Serie B


Lega Pro (Serie C)


Professional League of Kazakhstan


Futbola Virsliga (Latvia)


Eredivisie CV


Northern Ireland League


Norsk Toppfotball (Norway)


Polish Professional League Ekstraklasa (Poland)


Liga Portugal


Liga Profesionista de Fotbal


Scottish Professional League


Serbian Super Liga


Swiss League


Föreningen Svensk Elitfotboll (Sweden)


Ukrainian Premier League


Turkish Union of Clubs


How many professional soccer teams are there in the U.K.?

As early as 1100, football was played in England, albeit with an added risk of imprisonment for anyone found playing. At the time of writing, the United Kingdom is a global soccer powerhouse with high domestic participation. Early references, such as the Descriptio Nobilissimi Civitatis Londoniae by William Fitzstephen, noted the popularity of the sport, saying,

"All the city youth go out into the fields to take part in a ball game. Older citizens come on horseback to watch their juniors competing and to relive their youth vicariously. You can see their inner passions aroused as they watch the action and get caught up in the fun being had by the carefree adolescents."
How many soccer teams are there in FIFA?
Celtic players celebrate following the Cinch Scottish Premiership match against Aberdeen at Celtic Park Stadium on May 24, 2023, in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo by Ian MacNicol.
Source: Getty Images

How many professional soccer teams are there in England and London?

There are 57 soccer leagues with 84 English divisions in England that feature professional, semi-professional and amateur soccer teams. These are the English football leagues in order.


Number of teams

Premier League


The Championship


League One


League Two


National League


National League North


National League South


The Northern Premier League


Southern League Central Division


Southern League South Division


Isthmian League Premier Division


How many professional soccer teams are there in the U.S.?

The U.S. soccer pyramid across America consists of professional, semi-pro, amateur, recreational and intermural divisions. In addition, regional, state level and city-level associations comprise part of the pyramid. Here is a list of soccer leagues and teams in the U.S.

 How many soccer teams are there in FIFA Champions League?
The Major League Soccer leadership presents the Eastern Conference Championship Trophy to Philadelphia Union after they won the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final match against New York City FC at Subaru Park on October 30, 2022, in Chester, Pennsylvania. Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis.
Source: Getty Images


Number of teams

Major Soccer League


United Soccer League


USL Championship


USL League One


National Independent Soccer Association


MLS Next Pro


USL League Two


National Premier Soccer League


United Premier Soccer League


USL W League


How many professional soccer teams are there in Canada?

The Canadian League consists of 18 clubs, eight appearing in the Canadian Premier Division. There are three Canadian soccer teams in the MLS, including the Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The North American Soccer Division (NASL), or the U.S. Pro League, also features two clubs, the Toronto FC II and FC Montreal. Other squads in the league include the following.

All soccer teams in the world
Amber Hearn of New Zealand celebrates after scoring during the OFC Women's Nations Cup Final match against Papua New Guinea at Mt Smart Stadium on October 8, 2010, in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo by Hannah Peters.
Source: Getty Images
  1. Atlético Ottawa
  2. Calvary FC
  3. Club de Foot Montréal
  4. FC Edmonton
  5. Forge FC
  6. HFX Wanderers FC
  7. Pacific FC
  8. Toronto FC
  9. Valour FC
  10. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
  11. York United FC
  12. Dynamo Toronto FC
  13. Hamilton City 1
  14. Ooty Black Pearl FC
  15. Scarborough SC
  16. Serbian White Eagles
  17. Toronto Falcons
  18. Weston United FC

How many professional soccer teams are there in Spain and Brazil?

Football clubs in Spain make up an integral part of the Hispanic culture and heritage. A 2021 report by Statista revealed that in 2018, about 31,327 clubs were officially registered in the Royal Spanish Football Federation. Scroll down to find out how many teams there are in the Spanish League.


Number of teams

LaLiga Santander


LaLiga Smartbank


Finetwork Liga F


The history of soccer in Brazil began in the early 1800s, with the first professional match taking place in the 1890s. At the time of writing, the nation has established itself as an elite soccer nation. Out of the 4,000 professional clubs in the world in 2021, Brazil was home to the highest number of teams.

How many football teams are there in the Premier League?
Angel Robles (Centre) of Puebla fights for the ball with Jair Diaz (Left) of Tijuana during the 17th round as part of the Torneo Clausura 2023 Liga MX at Cuauhtemoc Stadium on April 29, 2023, in Puebla, Mexico. Photo by Agustin Cuevas.
Source: Getty Images

How many professional soccer teams are there in Africa?

A 2006 survey by FIFA revealed that 46 million registered and unregistered soccer players across the continent of Africa. Countries such as Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia, Cote d'Ivoire and Zambia carry the highest number of football clubs in the continent.

To millions of people, football is a popular sport that offers friendly competition and comradeship. This article gives a detailed overview of how many professional soccer teams there are in the world for aspiring players.

READ ALSO: Which are the 10 richest sports leagues in the world currently?

Sports Brief recently published an article ranking the world's richest professional sports leagues. The divisions, whose market values range between $2 billion and $10.8 million, represent some of the world's most popular sports, including soccer, baseball, hockey and cricket. Check out the link above to learn more about the top 10 wealthiest leagues in the world right now.

Ciku Njuguna photo
Ciku Njuguna
Ciku Njuguna is a journalist with 3 year’s experience in content creation based in Kenya. She currently covers sports personnel as well as team biographies.