English Premier League leads in FIFA World Cup players

The English Premier League has more players featuring in the FIFA World Cup in Russia, more than any other league, with 136 players out of the 736 at the tournament.

The Belgium squad that pipped England 1-0 in their last game in Group G, includes no fewer than 11 Premier League players.

English clubs have also shown a liking for Brazilians. Seven Brazil players ply their trade in England alongside seven Senegalese, seven Danes and six Argentines.

Overall, 113 of the 736 players at the tournament in Russia play in the English leagues, rising to 136 if you include Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad.

Spain has 58 foreign players at the tournament in its leagues, followed by Italy on 54, Germany 50 and France 37.

However, France’s defender Samuel Umtiti is putting his friendship with Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi on hold until Saturday’s last-16 clash with Lionel Messi’s Argentina is out of the way.

Asked if the pair had been keeping in contact in Russia Umtiti replied: “No messages. I prefer to see him on the pitch, afterwards, we can chat. Now is not the right time for me. But I get on very well with him. He’s a very good guy.”

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