In the past only a hand full of South American players went overseas to play in Europe. A couple players from Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil. This trend began slowly but surely in the 1950s. They’d typically get recruited by clubs teams from Italy, Spain or England. Over the years things gradually changed and decade-by-decade more players are going from South America to Europe. Nowadays, from the 1980s onward it’s the norm for Brazilian players to go overseas; rather it’s their goal. They’re in such high demand, because of the multiple World Cup titles, and their style of play, which is admired and sought after around the world. They are the most popular players, and the globalization of club soccer has led to European teams fielding all-star teams. Everybody on the team, it seems, is from another country. I think there should be a “foreign player rule.” It goes, on every club team there are only three spots available on a roster for foreign-born players. This would keep the club teams full of home-based talent, which would reflect a style of that particular country. It is the reality today, that all the teams intermix with players and coaches, and the styles have become widely known and spread around like the blue prints to making a camera or a car. Everybody knows everybody’s secrets. As a result the World Cup teams look very similar in style, or at least in their approach (some are better than others, mind you). The African teams are reflecting that “half court possession” polish they have been drilled on in Europe – the German polish, the Dutch, Italian and French polish. There is a technique to team possession, which these nations have exuded and practiced and displayed to the world over the years; now other players from Africa, America and Asia have picked up on the methods and are implementing them into their own game, however rusty it may be. Everybody’s “catching up” because everybody’s being exposed to the European game, which has been the trend setter in proper technique, ball possession, and organization. This says nothing against Brazil and Argentina, who have figured out the game on their own for over fifty years, setting trends, but they have limited club teams that set the trends for world soccer; the trend setters are in Europe. Then, the products of the trend setters, i.e. the players, get swept up by the money bags from Qatar or Japan or Malaysia to come play, which, by this time, is usually in their mid-to-late thirties, sometimes forties, and they flaunt around, showing everybody what it takes to be a good player, lounging in their mansion which has a built-in weather system that can create clouds overhead, on hot days. And it’s always hot. So once they break the remote control – which is inevitable, because soccer players aren’t too bright – and the special fake clouds can’t keep them cool anymore they decide not to wait forty-eight hours for the new remote to be installed, that’s just too much time, they’re reputation as a big shot who gets things done will be destroyed (people talk, their boyz over in Monaco will be laughing at them), so they reluctantly pack up their video games and head for the MLS, where a lifetime discount at TGI Fridays is waiting for them.
(NS) refers to "Non-Soccer" related blog entries, stories and essays.
ALL WRITTEN WORK COPYRIGHT SHANE STAY 2014-2018