The Internationalisation of English football
Football becomes truly internationalThe change in the composition of English teams was dramatic. In 1992-93 there had been eleven overseas players in the Premier League; by 1998-99 this figure had increased to 166. In 1999 Chelsea became the first English club to field an entire team made up of overseas players. By 2017-18, out of 520 players, 349 were from overseas, 67.1 percent; the league with the next highest percentage was Cyprus (57.1 per cent).The combination of Bosman and the extraordinary rise in television revenues increased the cosmopolitan nature of the Premier League. In 2017 players represented 65 different nationalities, with French and Spanish players the largest contingents.Players from overseas were assimilated relatively quickly into the English game and many have been honoured with awards such as player of the year at club and national levels (over the last two years, Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City Football Club’s Algerian winger; and N’Golo Kante, Chelsea FC’s French midfielder, have won the PFA Player of the Year awards).
English Football: a Social History
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