Globalization and the Beautiful Game

Is globalization mainly a force for good, enabling poor nations to lift themselves up from poverty, or does it create vast opportunities only for a small minority? To answer these questions, look no farther than soccer.

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.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

http://prosyn.org/aN9FjuC;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.