Costa Rica has long been considered an exporter of footballers, with 19 players in European professional football leagues during 2006. The newspaper, La Nación, has prepared an annual census of these "Legionnaires" since 1994.
The main professional league in the country is Costa Rican Primera División run by UNAFUT. There is a second tier league, Segunda División de Costa Rica, to which the last team of Primera is relegated after each season, and from which the champion is promoted to Primera. and a third tier league in addition to a large number of amateur players.