As is the case in most major tournaments, the 2015 Copa America participants play their club football all over the world. But while it's a South American competition many of its footballers practice their trade in the continent that hosts arguably the best leagues in the world, Europe. But which European leagues employ the majority of players participating in this year's Copa America tournament? We take a look at the top 5.
Before we begin, here are a few interesting facts:
- Every national team in the 2015 Copa America has at least 2 footballers that play in one of the 5 leagues below.
- The lower leagues of English football represent 7 players, that's just two less than the #5 league on our list.
- French club Paris Saint-Germain is represented the most with a total of 6 footballers playing between 3 nations (Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina)
#5 - Bundesliga (Germany) - 9 players
The German Bundesliga is represented by a total of 9 footballers from 4 nations in this year's edition of the Copa America tournament. The Chilean hosts and the Peruvians have the most Bundesliga players on their roster with 3 each.
Brazil: Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim)
Chile: Miiko Albornoz (Hannover), Gonzalo Jara (Mainz), Marcelo Díaz (Hamburg)
Paraguay: Nelson Haedo Valdez (Eintracht Frankfurt), Raul Bobadilla (Augsburg)
Peru: Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht Frankfurt), Jefferson Farfan (Schalke), Claudio Pizarro (Bayern Munich)
#4 - Ligue 1 (France) - 11 players
The French league is just ahead of the Bundesliga by a couple of footballers and are represented on 6 of the 12 participating teams. Brazil leads the way with France based players with a grand total of 4, only one of whom is not part of the defending champions Paris Saint-Germain. In total, 6 of the 11 French league based footballers are from the capital club.
Argentina: Javier Pastore (PSG), Ezequiel Lavezzi (PSG)
Brazil: Fabinho (Monaco), David Luiz (PSG), Marquinhos (PSG), Thiago Silva (PSG)
Colombia: Radamel Falcao (Monaco)
Paraguay: Lucas Barrios (Montpellier)
Uruguay: Diego Rolan (Bordeaux), Edinson Cavani (PSG)
Venezuela: Oswaldo Vizcarrondo (Nantes)
#3 - La Liga (Spain) - 18 players
There are 7 teams in this year's Copa America which have at least 1 player playing in Spain's La Liga. Argentina represents more footballers playing in Spain than any other with 4.
Argentina: Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia), Ever Banega (Sevilla), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), J. Mascherano (Barcelona)
Brazil: Miranda (Atletico de Madrid), Neymar (Barcelona), Dani Alves (Barcelona)
Chile: Claudio Bravo (Barcelona),
Colombia: Jeison Murillo (Granada), James Rodríguez (Real Madrid), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla)
Mexico: Javier Aquino (Rayo Vallecano), Raul Jimenez (Atletico Madrid)
Uruguay: Jose Maria Gimenez (Atletico Madrid), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Christian Stuani (Espanyol)
Venezuela: Roberto Rosales (Malaga), Nicolas "Miku" Fedor (Rayo Vallecano)
#2 - Premier League (England/Wales) - 20 players
Just 2 players ahead of La Liga is the English Premier League. What's incredible is that these 20 footballers are represented by 12 different clubs.
Argentina: Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City), Martín Demichelis (Manchester City), Marcos Rojo (Manchester United), Angel Di María (Manchester United), Erik Lamela (Tottenham), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Brazil: Filipe Luis (Chelsea), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Willian (Chelsea), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool),
Chile: Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal),
Colombia: David Ospina (Arsenal), Juan Cuadrado (Chelsea), Carlos Sanchez (Aston Villa),
Ecuador: Enner Valencia (West Ham), Jefferson Montero (Swansea)
Jamaica: Wes Morgan (Leicester City), Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace)
Uruguay: Sebastian Coates (Liverpool, on loan at Sunderland), Abel Hernandez (Hull City)
#1 - Serie A (Italy) - 27 players
The Italian league not only leads this chart with a whopping 27 Copa American participant playing in their league, it also boasts the record of having footballers in all but two of the teams (Ecuador and Jamaica). The footballers come from a total of 13 first tier Italian outfits.
Argentina: Sergio Romero (Sampdoria), Mariano Andujar (Napoli), Facundo Roncaglia (Genoa), Lucas Biglia (Lazio), Roberto Pereyra (Juventus), Carlos Tevez (Juventus), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli)
Bolivia: Sebastian Gamarra (AC Milan)
Brazil: Neto (Fiorentina)
Chile: Mauricio Isla (Juventus), Gary Medel (Inter), Carlos Carmona (Atalanta), Matías Fernandez (Fiorentina), Arturo Vidal (Juventus), David Pizarro (Fiorentina), Mauricio Pinilla (Genoa)
Colombia: Cristian Zapata (Milan), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli), Victor Ibarbo (Roma), Luis Muriel (Sampdoria)
Mexico: Rafael Marquez (Verona)
Paraguay: Ivan Píris (Udinese)
Peru: Juan Manuel Vargas (Fiorentina)
Uruguay: Gaston Silva (Torino), Alvaro Gonzalez (Torino)
Venezuela: Tomas Rincon (Genoa), Josef Martínez (Torino)