Study: Brazil sells record number of players abroad

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Brazil sold 1,176 footballers abroad in 2008, a record number that beats last year's total by 8.4 percent (1,085), according to the Brazilian Football Association (CBF).

This year's amount is almost twice the transfer number of 10 years ago (530) and 13 times the figure of 30 years ago (87).

Of the footballers who emigrated abroad, 222 ended up in Asian clubs, 762 in Europe, 105 in other South American countries, 69 in North and Central America and 15 in Africa.

The most popular destination in Europe was Portugal, to where 209 players moved, followed by Germany (58), Switzerland (46) and Spain (34).

According to the CBF, Brazilian clubs don't have the necessary financial backing to compete with clubs from Europe and Asia, the main reason why so many players are transferred abroad.

Each year younger players move abroad, and although Brazilian soccer still produces extraordinary talent, this could diminish if this trend continues in the future.

In order to minimize the likelihood of that happening, a new project has been established which doesn't allow players under the age of 16 to sign professional contracts.