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Published on April 9th, 2017 | by Daniel Cheeseman

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The World’s Most Travelled Footballers

Kiwi.com reveals the distances famous footballers travel during their professional careers

Leading online travel agency Kiwi.com have produced a ranking comparing the distances legendary footballers travel during their careers. With the season in full swing, top players are not only travelling in their domestic leagues and cups, but internationally to engage in annual continental club competitions and official national team games. The Most Travelled Footballers provides a fascinating insight into the growing amount of travel top footballers have to endure.

The study is composed of two rankings: Active Footballers and Retired Players. These present a number of interesting analyses, such as the number of goals a player scores, the number of red cards they receive per 10,000 miles travelled, as well as their salary per mile travelled. While other footballers could have made the list, the players here were chosen based on number of appearances with a focus mainly on strikers and scoring midfielders, with the exception of two goal keepers. For the full methodology please visit their results page: https://kiwi.com/stories/most-travelled-footballers/gbp/

“Here at Kiwi.com, we help thousands of fans each year to follow their teams, some of whom travel to every away game” says Stephen Davis, CMO at Kiwi.com. “It’s interesting to see just how far players have to travel in order to compete at the highest level. On top of this are the millions of miles that fans clock up when they follow their teams across the globe. We can often track which team is playing where, by flight searches made on Kiwi.com”

Results: Active Footballers

Top Five Most Travelled Active Players (Extract*)
 
Active Players
Country
Age
1st Division Debut
Current Team
Total Career Travel (miles)
Goals/10k Miles
Cards/10k Miles
Salary/1 Mile
1
Iker Casillas
Spain
35
1998
FC Porto
564,379.76
0
0.51
£166.48
2
“Xavi” Hernández Creus
Spain
37
1998
Al Sadd SC
564,379.76
1.70
0.97
£298.18
3
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal
32
2002
Real Madrid
545,294.46
10.64
1.80
£525.67
4
Lionel Messi
Argentina
29
2004
FC Barcelona
518,096.30
10.58
1.10
£362.17
5
Francesco Totti
Italy
40
1992
AS Roma
472,005.94
6.69
3.01
£192.55

 *This is an extract of the full findings which can be found on Kiwi.com’s results page here: https://kiwi.com/stories/most-travelled-footballers/gbp/

The full results breakdown footballers travel into League Travel, National Cup Travel, International Club travel, and National Team Travel. The full methodology is also available on the results page.

Iker Casillas is the most travelled active player. During his 19 year career, Casillas has travelled a grand total of 564,379.76 miles, giving him a salary of £166.48 per mile travelled. As it stands, Robert Lewandowski has the highest goals scored per miles travelled, with an impressive 21.13 goals per 10,000 miles travelled. The world class Bayern striker is also the least travelled active footballer in this ranking with 151,422.25 miles.

The study also revealed the following interesting findings about active footballers:
  • Luis Suarez is carded 4.99 times per 10,000 miles travelled, the highest in this ranking, closely followed by Wayne Rooney (4.75 per 10,000 miles) and Robin van Persie (3.64)
  • Carlos Tevez is paid the most per mile at £1,339.69, followed by Robin van Persie (£891.73) and Wayne Rooney (£836.96)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has travelled 545,294.46 miles since his first division debut in 2002. He scores 10.64 goals and is carded 1.80 times per 10,000 miles travelled and is paid £525.67 per mile.

For further interesting findings on first division players check out the results page: https://kiwi.com/stories/most-travelled-footballers/gbp/

Results: Retired Footballers

Top Five Most Travelled Retired Players (Extract*)
 
Retired Players
Country
1st Division Debut – Retirement
Total Career Travel (miles)
Goals/10k mile
Cards/ 10k miles
1
Raul Gonzalez Blanco
Spain
1994-2015
679,424.82
6.12
0.71
2
Pavel Nedved
Czech Republic
1991-2006
667,023.58
2.38
1.51
3
Roberto Carlos
Brazil
1991-2015
611,482.19
1.67
2.06
4
Diego Armando Maradona
Argentina
1976-1997
563,144.59
6.14
0.23
5
Zinedine Zidane
France
1989-2006
551,324.04
2.83
1.03

 *This is an extract of the full findings which can be found on Kiwi.com’s results page.

The full results breakdown footballers travel into League Travel, National Cup Travel, International Club travel, and National Team Travel. The full methodology is also available on the results page.

The findings revealed that a high number of appearances on the field does not necessarily mean that the player is the most travelled. Retired goalie Peter Shilton illustrates this point. Shilton holds the all-time record for the most competitive appearances in world football, with a total of 1249 appearances including friendly games. However, he ranks in last place in the Retired Footballers Ranking, with 188,082.97 miles travelled, far behind Raul, who is the most travelled footballer of all time, with 679,424.82 miles travelled.

  • David Beckham is the 6th most travelled player with 481,441.98 miles travelled over his 21 year career from 1992-2013. Beckham averaged 3.03 goals and 3.20 cards per 10,000 miles travelled, making him the most carded retired player per mile.
  • The player with the most goals per 10,000 miles travelled is Pele with 25.63. Pele travelled 468,250.10 miles throughout his career, from 1956-1977.
  • Zinedine Zidane was the 5th most travelled player with 551,324.04 miles travelled over the duration of his 21 year career, which lasted from 1989-2006.

For further interesting findings on retired players check out the results page: https://kiwi.com/stories/most-travelled-footballers/gbp/


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