FOOTBALL – Players from 64 different countries played in this week’s Champions League with their time on the pitch ranging from 4019 minutes by the 55 Brazilians appearing for 20 different clubs in the competition to a five minute appearance for Ludogorets by Tunisian Hamza Younes. England has the maximum number of clubs in the competition but English players were only 11th in terms of playing time, lagging behind smaller nations such as Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Brazilian players spent the most time on the field during the first matchday of the Champions League and more than half of the clubs in the competition have at least one Brazilian who played. No other nation is represented at half of the clubs. Spanish players are second with 53 turning out this week for 15 different clubs, four of which are from La Liga. Germany also has four teams in this season’s Champions League and are third with 30 players appearing for seven different clubs. What about the third country with maximum representation of clubs, England?
England only came in 11th with just 12 players playing in this week’s Champions League matches for four clubs. Much smaller countries like Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden all had more players playing in the competition this week and more minutes from those players.
England appearing so much lower than Spain or Germany is because English clubs field a lot of foreign players comparatively and English players not appearing for Champions League teams who aren’t English. England is one of only three countries whose players only appeared for teams from their own country this week. The others are Belarus and Cyprus.
Last season, 23 English players played Champions League football, the second fewest under the current format after the 22 who played in the 2007/2008 season. Is this season set to break that record?
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