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How many professional soccer teams are there in the world?
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.
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.
Number of professional players
Asian Football Confederation
Confederation Africaine de Football
Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football
Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol
Oceania Football Confederation
Union des Associations Europeennes de Football
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.
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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.
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Number of teams
Österreichische Fußball Bundesliga (Austria)
Azerbaijan Professional League
Ligová Fotbalová Asociace (Czech)
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)
Northern Ireland League
Norsk Toppfotball (Norway)
Polish Professional League Ekstraklasa (Poland)
Liga Profesionista de Fotbal
Scottish Professional League
Serbian Super Liga
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,
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"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 professional soccer teams are there in England and London?
Number of teams
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.?
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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.
Number of teams
Major Soccer League
United Soccer League
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.
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- Atlético Ottawa
- Calvary FC
- Club de Foot Montréal
- FC Edmonton
- Forge FC
- HFX Wanderers FC
- Pacific FC
- Toronto FC
- Valour FC
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC
- York United FC
- Dynamo Toronto FC
- Hamilton City 1
- Ooty Black Pearl FC
- Scarborough SC
- Serbian White Eagles
- Toronto Falcons
- 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
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 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.
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.