A FIFA first: Football's transfer figures released

    Story highlights

    • FIFA have released figures regarding international football transfers in 2011
    • The figures take into account players who moved between two different countries
    • The numbers were gathered using the Transfer Matching System (TMS), first introduced in 2009
    • TMS helps regulate international transfers and makes sure FIFA's rules are adhered to
    The global football transfer market is big business, with star players swapping countries, even continents to play for richer, more prestigious clubs.
    The exact figures involved in these transactions are often difficult to ascertain, but football's world governing body, FIFA have introduced a system which allows the transfer market to be accurately tracked and analyzed.
    The Transfer Matching System (TMS) was first conceived in 2007 and was designed as a way of monitoring international transfers and ensuring FIFA's regulations were adhered to.
    In 2009, former Cameroon defender Jean-Joel Perrier-Doumbe became the first player to switch clubs using the TMS when he left Celtic in Scotland for French club Toulouse.
    And last week FIFA were able to release a full year's worth of figures for the first time for international transfers conducted between January 1 to December 31 2011.
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    "Thanks to TMS, football authorities have access for the first time to global, directly reported data on the transfer market," read FIFA's first annual Global Transfer Market release.
    "As additional information is entered in the system and we continue to work to enhance the integrity and usability of the data, future editions will be able to provide unparalleled insight into the evolution of the global market for international football."
    So, if you want to know how often an international transfer was made, the total amount spent on international transfers or the average wage of a footballer, check out the above gallery.
    Data from all 208 of FIFA's member associations was collected. Some of the results may surprise you.