World cup players by

Each dot in this visualization represents one player in the World Cup. Each national team in the tournament has 23 men on its roster. Each of them is a citizen of the country for whom he is playing.

Many World Cup players regularly compete in professional leagues outside their home countries — the majority in Europe, especially England, where fans get to enjoy watching these world-class players every season.

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123 World Cup players regularly compete in professional soccer leagues in England — most in the English Premier League.
All 23 players on Russia’s World Cup roster compete in the Russian Premier League.
Seventy-one players are from pro leagues in countries that aren’t in the World Cup this year.
Few of South America’s, Africa’s and Australia’s players regularly play professionally in these countries.

Forty-four percent of players on World Cup rosters come from the top pro leagues in England, Spain, Germany and Italy — considered the best in the world. Not surprisingly, countries that draw most of their players from those leagues are viewed as top contenders.

One quarter come from the next highest-rated European leagues (Portugal, France, Russia and the Netherlands), plus five other leagues that are well-represented on World Cup rosters (Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and the U.S.’s Major League Soccer). Thirty-one percent come from 48 other leagues.

 Elite four
 Second tier
 All other leagues

SOURCE: FIFA, individual leagues. Published June 12, 2014.