Globalization and the Beautiful Game
Cambridge – How does globalization reshape wealth and opportunity around the world? Is it mainly a force for good, enabling poor nations to lift themselves up from poverty by taking part in global markets? Or does it create vast opportunities only for a small minority?
To answer these questions, look no farther than soccer. Ever since European clubs loosened restrictions on the number of foreign players, the game has become truly global. African players, in particular, have become ubiquitous, supplementing the usual retinue of Brazilians and Argentines. Indeed, the foreign presence in soccer surpasses anything that we see in other areas of international commerce.
Arsenal, which currently leads the English Premier League, fields 11 starters who typically do not include a single British player. Indeed, all the English players for the four English clubs that recently advanced to the final 8 of the UEFA Champions’ League would hardly be enough to field a single team.