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Globalization: Good for the World Cup?

Some may argue that globalization is bad for club soccer, but it's great for the World Cup, writes Andres Oppenheimer of the Arizona Star Daily. He says up and coming countries are doing reasonably well at this tournament: Trinidad & Tobago's brave performances against England and Sweden, Ecuador's 2-0 win against Poland, and Ghana's comprehensive 2-0 victory against the Czechs. Sure, there may have been a few surprises in the first 33 games of this tournament, but by and large, the favorites are doing really well; in fact, at this point, it would appear that the fellow who bet on the favorites to qualify from each group is about 80 percent right. But Oppenheimer makes a good point: it's not so easy to beat Angola (ask Mexico and Portugal) or Korea (ask France) anymore. We have globalization to thank for letting good players from small countries find work overseas now. Scouting has now become big business with huge implications for a club's return on investment. Thanks to the 1995 Bosman ruling that lets clubs hire as many foreigners as they want, soccer has become one of the world's most globalized industries. With no cap on the number of foreigners you buy, there's nothing to stop the club teams with the most money from staying on top. Some might complain that globalization turns the world's leagues into to two-pony races every year; Oppenheimer says this levels off the international playing field, as more players are attracted to the same leagues from across the globe.

Read the whole story at Arizona Star Daily »

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