Estimated participation figures of almost 30 million worldwide make soccer the most prominent team sport amongst girls and women. However, making a living as a female player is only deemed possible in approximately 20 out of around 150 FIFA-listed women’s soccer countries. This has led to a situation where highly skilled sports women have to migrate from their homelands to find employment with a professional team. Women, Soccer and Transnational Migration represents a substantial contribution to our knowledge on the development of women’s soccer, to research into sports labor migration and sport and globalization more broadly.

The book consists of three parts. Firstly, it provides an overview and an analysis of migration in women's soccer from its earliest forms until now. It then presents several case studies, delivered by scholars from around the world, illustrating how female players are increasingly being drawn to the USA, Northern Europe and Scandinavia due to their ability to support professional leagues. Finally, all the themes and patterns of these case studies are drawn together to be able to compare and contrast migration in women's soccer to sport migration and globalization more broadly.

This study not only makes recommendations for future researchers, but may also serve as an important source of information for those in charge of policy. As such, it is essential reading for students, lecturers, researchers and practitioners involved in sports migration and women's sport.

part I|50 pages

Globalization, migration and women's soccer

chapter 1|17 pages


Globalization, sports labor migration and women's mobilities

chapter 2|13 pages

‘Soccer matters very much, every day’

Player migration and motivation in professional women's soccer

chapter 3|18 pages

Current fluxes in women's soccer migration

Towards an understanding of the circularity of athletic mobility and skills-exchange

part II|108 pages

Women's soccer across the globe

chapter 4|20 pages

The continental drift to a zone of prestige

Women's soccer migration to the US NCAA Division I 2000–2010

chapter 5|13 pages

Student athletic migration from Trinidad and Tobago

The case of women's soccer

chapter 6|16 pages

New frontiers

The transnational circulation of Brazil's women soccer players

chapter 7|15 pages


International migration of Japanese women in world soccer

chapter 8|23 pages

Leaving the core

The emigration of Scandinavian women soccer players

chapter 9|19 pages

Momentous spark or enduring enthusiasm?

The 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and its impact on players' mobility and on the popularity of women's soccer in Germany

part III|57 pages

Developing transnational perspectives on sports migration

chapter 10|14 pages

On mobility and visibility in women's soccer

Theorizing an alternative approach to sport migration

chapter 11|16 pages

Bringing gender into sports labor migration research

Gendered geographies of power in African women's soccer migration

chapter 12|25 pages

The typology of athletic migrants revisited

Transnational settlers, sojourners and mobiles