The globalization of soccer has an array of positive implications; for example, because players have such a high turnover rate in regard to transfers, the culture of any club team is constantly changing. There is no ‘pure’ club team with only players from one nationality; rather, the club teams represent an amalgamation of ethnicities around the world (regard Homi Bhabha’s cultural theory). For example, in Real Madrid, 11 different ethnicities make up the club team. Citizens of one country could support a club team outside their home country and thus form bonds with others. This is an aspect that contributes to why I love soccer; wherever I go, I know that I can find commonality between myself and other soccer fans around the world.
However, I also argue that a leading disadvantage regarding the globalization of the sport is its potential to lessen opportunities for local talent and therefore, on the long run, diminish the success of national team. A clear example of this case is Hungary’s national team. Hungary’s success in the past is undeniable; the team bears three Olympic titles, and has the so-called Golden Team, for which Ferenc Puskás, a legend of the sport, played. A major problem that the team faces today, however, is that all the younger players no longer play in Hungary. This fact is not the only side of the problem, however. The real issue lies with their playing time; the young players are recruited for their promising abilities to major teams like Real Zaragoza in Spain, Liverpool FC in the United Kingdom, and VfB Stuttgart in Germany. They thus leave promising local careers in hopes of making it big in prominent club teams outside of Hungary. Unfortunately, these young players see little to no playing time, which hinders them from gaining the necessary experience to render them more successful and skilled players. Hungary’s national team is ranked 33rd on the FIFA World Ranking as of April 11th of this year.
The country prides itself, however, on its U-17 and U-20 (‘U’ meaning ‘under’) team, which has made more considerable achievements recently (the U-20s, for example, came in third place in the their respective World Cup). Therefore, taking these players is a great tactic for leading European countries but a serious hindrance for the Hungarian national team. The inviting sum of money and popular club team name, on the other hand, lures these soccer players in.