The latest edition of the FIFA’s Global Transfer Market Report notes a new record number of international transactions last year (16,533, or 5.6% more than in 2017) and a new record total spent, of more than $7 billion (€6.13 billion), up 10.7%.
Among these transfers, those from Brazil to Portugal path are the single most common, totalling 205 last year, up 21.3% from the previous year, followed by England to Scotland, at 167. The third most common was players transferring from Portuguese clubs to Brazil, at 126.
The Brazil market has the most valuable players, but also the largest influx of international transfers, at 677, with Portugal standing eighth.
The Portuguese market stands out for the fact that it has net positive revenues (total received less total expenditure), ranking third in the world with a positive $267.2 million, behind only Brazil, at $327.2 million and leader France, with $467.2 million.
In Portugal, transfers last year rose 22% to an estimated $116.9 million, the 10th largest among UEFA members. Portuguese players are the 12th most common nationality on the international market, at 297 transactions.
Portuguese players are now the fourth most valuable nationality, with the value of transactions up 25.1% to $581.8 million.
The FIFA report shows that 78.2% of all transfer expenditures took place in the UEFA region, but Saudi Arabia rose to seventh place on the list of the biggest spenders, with $173.9 million.
In women's soccer, 2018 marked the first year in which transfers of professional players were processed by the international FIFA system, with a total of 696 international transfers for a total sum of $600,000.
One in five transfers involved a player from the US - by far the most common of nationalities in the system. Most of the 211 FIFA member countries do not yet have any record of transactions.