In recent decades football has gained popularity around the globe and is now enjoyed by millions of people both at the stadiums and in the grounds. Although the sport has a global following, all the main club teams are based in Europe, and this is where they can contest the greatest club competitions. Players from Russia, Africa, USA, South America and as far a field as Australia all cite their ambitions as to play in Europe where they can contest the greatest competitions as well as earn the most money. Traditionally South American players migrate to the Spanish League where there are cultural ties and within Europe as well you can see Scandinavian players often moving to the Premiership where the weather is similar. Obviously the time is always ticking on the time players can compete at the top level and you will often see players moving back to their own countries towards the tail end of their careers or in some cases moving to the ‘Major Soccer League’ in the US or to Japan where the teams are always for stars to promote the game on home soil.
So what of the future of the game. As globalization takes hold I think we will see successful national teams from countries across the globe. Where previously only teams from Europe and South America could seriously contest trophies I can see a time where any from a number of teams have a chance. There has been a rising of standards already in places such as the Far East and Australia and I can see now reason why the trend won’t continue. Less glamorous nations are taking much more professional outlooks on the game, often attracting the likes of experienced coaches which can only improve them further. The money there is in the game these days too can only act as a motivating factor as well for people, possibly from poorer nations to make it a career goal.
Although for many years the USA has dominated in the world of track and field athletics as well as obviously in sports such as baseball and basketball they have never competed on the same level in football. I have it on authority though that the game is gaining popularity in the states producing in recent times some exciting talents. And on the back of a relatively successful World Cup campaign last time round we may well see growing standards from what is, after all, the richest country on earth.
With globalization and increased industrialization around the planet one country in particular is seeing massive monetary growth. China has in recent times used this growth and it’s massive population to push for greater sporting excellence. The last Olympics proved this and I can see them dominating to an even greater degree when they play host to the next Olympics. Their club football teams have of late also attracted some international talents in terms of both players and coaches, albeit possibly ones at the wrong end of their careers but it is an obvious sign of the ambitions of the nation. Riding this upward trend we may well see China too competing in international football tournaments in the future.
Jack Summers is currently the proprietor of http://www.footytalk.net where you can read about and exchange your views and experiences of the game with like-minded followers of football from around the globe.