Most Travelled Football Superstars 2016
Like countless people around the world, here at Kiwi.com we’re huge football fans. As well as the thrill of the beautiful game, we’re often amazed by the players’ extravagant lives. But few take note of the huge amount of travel involved as part of the sport. With the season in full swing, we wondered: how much might a player travel throughout their careers? Which stars are paid the most per mile? And who is the most carded player per mile travelled?
We decided to have a bit of fun with the data and looked at the miles travelled by a selection of footballers over their professional career.
The amount of travel top footballers have to endure throughout their careers is surprising, even for us at Kiwi.com! It would seem that players in the past travelled less, whilst some players who are currently active are well on their way to becoming the most travelled football stars of all time.
You can select each factor to order the table based on that criterion.
|Active Players||Player Facts||Professional Career Travel||Travel Correlated to Pay & Stats|
|#||Player Name||Country||Age||First Division Debut||Current Team||League Travel (km)||National Cup Travel (km)||International Club Travel (km)||National Team Travel (km)||Total Career Travel (km)||Goals per
per 1 km
|Iker Casillas||Spain||35||1998||FC Porto||529,214||64,872||207,717||106,478||908,281||0.00||0.32||118.91|
|Xavi Hernández||Spain||37||1998||Al Sadd SC||536,601||39,173||184,55||131,871||892,161||1.05||0.61||212.97|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Portugal||32||2002||Real Madrid||511,318||62,678||200,693||102,878||877,567||6.61||1.12||375.44|
|Lionel Messi||Argentina||29||2004||FC Barcelona||501,497||36,610||172,444||123,244||833,795||6.57||0.68||258.67|
|Francesco Totti||Italy||40||1992||AS Roma||473,125||34,161||213,606||38,728||759,620||4.16||1.87||137.52|
|Zlatan Ibrahimovic||Sweden||35||1999||Manchester United||364,472||13,251||218,464||71,024||667,211||7.19||1.65||288.62|
|Fernando Torres||Spain||32||2001||Atletico de Madrid||367,266||53,818||128,598||71,830||621,513||4.52||1.50||309.84|
|Carlos Tevez||Argentina||33||2001||Shanghai Shenhua||402,570||3,985||96,937||115,380||618,871||4.64||1.00||956.83|
|Karim Benzema||France||29||2004||Real Madrid||279,234||15,518||171,606||36,917||503,275||5.34||0.24||233.17|
|Wayne Rooney||UK||31||2002||Manchester United||123,616||8,086||187,627||73,286||392,615||8.15||2.95||597.77|
|Robin van Persie||Netherlands||33||2001||Fenerbahce||153,325||8,821||136,379||64,307||362,832||8.05||2.26||636.89|
|Thomas Muller||Germany||27||2008||FC Bayern Munich||130,245||33,750||122,354||47,597||333,949||5.78||0.78||210.21|
|Luis Suarez||Uruguay||30||2005||FC Barcelona||178,370||8,436||87,235||57,859||331,901||11.39||3.10||435.15|
|Robert Lewandowski||Poland||28||2006||FC Bayern Munich||93,108||16,607||101,909||32,067||243,691||13.13||1.76||375.56|
|Retired Players||Player Facts||Professional Career Travel||Travel Correlated to Stats|
|#||Player Name||Country||First Division
Debut - Retirement
|League Travel (km)||National Cup Travel (km)||International Club Travel (km)||National Team Travel (km)||Total Career Travel (km)||Goals per
|Pavel Nedved||Czech Republic||1991-2006||713,046||46,613||270,776||43,035||1,073,471||1.48||0.94|
|Alessandro del Piero||Italy||1991-2014||436,934||53,613||153,068||41,008||684,623||5.00||0.69|
Other footballers could have made the list, however the players here were chosen based on number of appearances and career success with a focus mainly on strikers and scoring midfielders, with the exception of two goalkeepers – one of whom has the most professional appearances, and the second who is the most-travelled currently active player.
In order to create the Most Travelled Football Superstars, the air miles between each city in which games took place was measured. If a return flight was necessary, this number was doubled. We focussed on tier 1 competitions: the Champions League, the highest domestic cups such as the FA Cup, domestic league matches, as well as national team fixtures (excluding friendly matches). Players’ time off, because of suspension or injuries, was also excluded when making the final calculations.
- National team competition: This includes all tournaments and official games played by the national team
- Domestic cup competition: This refers to the most important cup from each country, such as the FA Cup in England, the DFB Cup in Germany, the Copa del Rey in Spain, the Coppa Italia in Italy and so on
- League: This refers only to league matches in each country
- International club competition: This refers to international club competitions. We took the most important ones, such as the Copa Libertadores de America, the Champions League and the Europa League
- Goals per mile/km: The number of goals the player scores for every 10,000 miles. All goals scored by an individual player were totalled. The average amount of time needed to score was then calculated
- Salary per mile/km: This is the sum that the player gets for each mile they travel. To arrive at this figure, the player’s weekly salary was divided by the distance travelled per week over the course of their active years
- Playing Time: We used the transfermarkt.com database to determine the dates of a footballer's debut and retirement
- Explanation of Yellow/Red Cards: While the sending-off of a player for committing a foul was introduced in 1877 by the English FA, yellow and red cards were only introduced in 1970. The yellow-red card has existed since 1991.
The 1970 World Cup in Mexico was therefore the first World Cup - and the European Championship in Belgium was the first European Championship - in which there were yellow cards. This column was calculated by averaging the number of yellow, second yellow followed by a red, or straight red cards per 10,000 miles
- Total: The total number of all 4 columns. This is the number of miles the player has travelled in his career for official games
- The geographical coordinates of each city were obtained using Google Maps API
- Given the geographical coordinates, the distance between cities is calculated using the haversine formula
- Each distance has an approximate average error of 0.65 per cent. This value corresponds to the distance between the city centre and the location of the stadium
- Information gathered from the database is correct up to 22 January