With the mercato officially closed in all leagues, it's time to take stock. On Friday, FIFA published a statistical report of all the movements recorded. Transfer fees reached a record $7.36 billion, and the majority of transactions involved players nearing the end of their contracts. So, which leagues are the biggest spenders?Who are the most sought-after players?How much did agents earn? Find out in this report.
Mercato after mercato, the figures get more and more dizzying, and this summer's transfer market was no exception to the rule, with even a new record reached. In its report published this Friday, September 8 (International Transfer Snapshot), FIFA confirms that the total amount of transfer fees paid reached the sum of 7.36 billion dollars (6.87 billion euros). This record sum wipes out the previous record of $5.8 billion set in 2019, representing an increase of 26.8% compared to that date, and especially 47.2% compared to the summer of 2022.
The Saudi Pro League boom
Two factors justify this new record: the sums invested by Premier League clubs to remain ever more competitive in their own league, and the Saudi Pro League's assault on world soccer.While England is unsurprisingly the country that has spent the most with 1.84 billion euros, Saudi Arabia ranks 2nd on the podium with 817 million euros spent to attract Karim Benzema, Neymar, Sadio Mané, Riyad Mahrez and Yassine Bounou.A total of 42 footballers left leading European clubs to migrate to Saudi Arabia during the mercato. 42 who did not go unnoticed among the more than 10,000 transfers recorded by the world body, again a new record.
France took 3rd place with 803.14 million euros spent. Germany (712.24 million euros), Italy (664.22 million euros) and Spain (378.91 million euros) follow, making UEFA the biggest-spending confederation, ahead of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which contributed 14% of transfer market expenditure. This is the first time that clubs from a confederation other than UEFA have broken the 10% barrier.
New record for agent commissions
On its part, the CAF zone is not to be outdone, and the indicators are also on the rise, but the figures are still far, far from the sums circulating on other continents. African clubs spent a total of 11.3 million euros to attract 727 players, while at the same time 1,115 moves were recorded in the departures direction, for a total of 42.4 million euros.
These figures confirm the gap between the CAF zone and zones such as UEFA and CONMEBOL in terms of player market value.One trend has been confirmed over the years, however: transfers involving free players once again make up the majority of transfers during the mercato, with 56.6% of movements. This is followed by classic transfers of a player for a transfer fee (19.2%), loans (12.7%) and returns from loans (11.5%).And of all these transactions, players aged between 18 and 23 were the most sought-after.They accounted for 52.8% of all 1985 transfers including compensation, followed by players aged 24-29 (38.7%).
Agents received no less than 651 million euros in commissions, also a new record. This should continue to inspire people to enter the profession, and encourage more aspiring agents to take the FIFA examination for certification as players' agents.