The world’s top 20 footballers alone produce over 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, and Premier League stars Roberto Fimino, Son Heung-min and Sadio Mané are in the top 5.
The research was conducted by FootballPredictions.net, and analysed the air travel that the players made to and from matches, with Marquinhos of PSG clocking up over 110,000km and 50t CO2 in carbon emissions due to several trips back to his home continent of South America.
According to the research, the carbon emissions produced by Roberto Firmino’s travel is equivalent to the amount of energy used over the course of a year for six homes, while Tottenham’s Son Heung-min’s 45.1t CO2 could alternatively be used to charge 5,750,806 smartphones.
Cristiano Ronaldo travelled just 25,000km, but his 25.6t is still well above average.
With climate change a hotter topic now than ever before, Andrew Welfle from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester, has called on sporting organisations to lead from the front and help cut down on the excessive travel methods which are causing such damage to the planet.
He told Eco-Friendly Footballers, a study into the environmental impact of the world’s leading players: ‘I think the image of organisations such as the Premier League, FIFA and individual clubs is an important issue to discuss.
‘If a light was to shine on these institutes I have no doubt they would do more, faster to reduce their impacts.’
‘The nature of the football sector where teams travel can regularly travel great distances for fixtures, in addition to having international playing staff and managers how frequently fly to get between their homes and places of work – is a recipe for a high carbon footprint.
‘These emissions are large and when you take into consideration football fans also sometimes travelling by air, the impact will probably be several magnitudes bigger.’
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