FootbalizationThe World is Yours
Football is one of the most popular sports in the world and is often regarded as the most ‘globalized' profession. Although football is still relatively small in the biggest entertainment market of all; the USA, it is the most important component of this sector in the rest of the world. Football clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan have become huge corporate entities in the last few years.
Players are offered to clubs in different countries; the best ones earn millions of euros a year. The one, obvious reason for this development is the growing influence of money, which football supporters call 'modern football’. In 1995, the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of Belgian footballer Jean-Marc Bosman. Now known as the ‘Bosman Ruling’, it stated that when a player was out of contract with his club, the club was no longer entitled to a transfer fee, and the player was free to sign for anyone who wanted him. Following on from this ruling, a limitation on the number of ‘foreign’ players was also lifted. Previously, a club could only field three foreign players in UEFA competitions. Nowadays, a club can field a full team of EU nationals. It can also sign players from non-EU countries, subject to the work permit laws of the country, and domestic league rules.
This, undoubtedly, has lead to increased mobility for players. While this increased job mobility is good for certain players, it does make it that much more difficult for young local players to ‘make the break’. It is also one of the reasons why players' wages and transfer fees have risen over the past decade. The clubs no longer have as strong a hold on the players, and therefore need to make it more attractive for them to stay and/or sign longer contracts. The gap between European football and other smaller clubs and leagues, especially in America, Africa or Asia becomes larger, because the best and most talented youngsters leave their home countries very early and for little money to become Europe's next hero and win important trophies.
Because of globalisation, young talented players get the opportunity to develop at a big football club. Later in their career, many of them play for their national team, which they cannot change. Since the early nineties, when football became global, national teams of poor countries, e.g. from Africa, made it into the FIFA World Cup Quarter Final (Cameroon in 1990, and Ghana in 2006/2010) for the first time in the history of football. This illustrates how globalisation can make small nations with, adverse circumstances but with talented players, stronger!
The process of increasing the popularity of football (soccer) in a region.
The influence of football on real-life matters such as politics, economics and the media.
'I want what's coming to me... the world chico... and everything in it.'
Tony Montana/Oliver Stone/Scarface