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High export rate scrambles Argentine league

  • BBC, Tuesday, September 21, 2010 1:18 PM

The Argentine first division has become wildly unpredictable, writes Tim Vickery, who notes that the last eight championships have been won by eight different clubs. One reason for the parity and unpredictability is the rate at which talent leaves the league.

Argentina has now overtaken Brazil as the leading exporter of soccer players -- a remarkable statistic given that Brazil's population is nearly five times bigger. All the teams are in a permanent state of flux and the playing field is leveled - downward.

Moreover, the league stages two separate championships in which the 20 teams play each other once. The shorter seasons increase the chance of a surprise. Relegation is determined on an average of points accumulated over three years, which explains why traditional power River Plate is in danger despite being in second place this season.

River Plate's rebound this season has included the contributions of 19-year-old striker Rogelio Funes Mori, who lived in Texas from age 10 to 16. He was the winner of Univision's "2008 Sueno MLS" reality tryout TV show and but left  FC Dallas' youth program to try out for River Plate.

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