World Cup 2010 Squads

I know that this post is not like anything else I have written, but there is an unusual connection between football and politics sometimes. I think everyone who has seen or heard a match commentary knows that there is a lot of war-type jargon used in football. For example, the players are sometimes called troops and the match is a battle, with the cliche of ‘last line of defence’ coming up now and again. Nevertheless, there is something interesting which struck me when I was examining the World Cup squads: some of the biggest national teams, and favorites to win the tournament, pick players only from their domestic leagues!

Take Italy for example. All of the 23 players in the Italian squad play in the Italian Serie A. Six of them are from Juventus and three from AC Milan, and none from Inter. That is surprising, considering the fact that Inter won the Champions League and the Serie A this year, while Juventus finished 7th in the league. What is going on there is hard to determine.

Another example is Germany. All 23 players from the German squad play in the Bundesliga. Seven of them are from Bayern Munich (the Bundesliga champions and Champions League finalists), which is not surprising. Four come from Werder Bremen, who came third in the league this season, so that is not a surprise either. Yet, this just goes to show that the best German players do not go outside their home country to play. That is a shame I think.

Some of you might think that the situation is different with the European Champions Spain. Well, you are not nearly as right as you expect. Out of the 23 players in the Spanish squad, only 3 come from outside the Primera Division – Fernando Torres and Jose Reina from Liverpool and Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal. Yes, the Spanish players have often had an affinity to playing in Englans, but rumors are currently circulating that Torres and Fabregas might actually be moving back to the Spanish Primera. I think this is just as much a shame as with the German squad for the same reasons.

Let’s not forget the English, who seem to have opted for a star line-up made up of 23 players from the Premiership. It is interesting that Capello (the only foreigner in the whole team) did not look beyond the borders of the island for his World Cup squad. In fact, he did not look beyond the borders of England’s top flight football. Yes, it might be the best league in the world, but that does not mean that world class players should not go across the Channel onto the mainland. It is very significant that none have decided to do so. What it signifies, I leave up to you.

I know that picking the best players for the World Cup is very important, but looking only at your domestic league is pitiful. There are world class players out there, who are just waiting for you to discover them. The only reason I can think of is that the scouts and the coach did not have resources to fly outside their country and look at other players. The more likely explanation though, is that the world class players only play in their own domestic league. If that is the case, then maybe they should ask themselves some very serious questions.


One response to “World Cup 2010 Squads

  1. Maksim Baldzhiev

    Well, allow me to disagree in a way.

    Yes, they are world class players and they surely play at a top level. However I believe that the reason for this is that they simply play in the best leagues in the world!

    England : Take for example the English Premiership. About 107 players at the World Cup are playing there.Thus the Premiership is the most represented at the World Cup. Should we state that the Premiership is the best in the world? I dare say so. In addition to this the English players themselves have never been of great value outside The Island. Take some of the greatest names : Platt, Gascoigne , Paul Ince and others…after becoming famous they went to Italy where they had mediocre performances and then returned. Only Beckham seems to be an exception with Real Madrid. My point is that historically the English players rarely succeed outside UK.

    Italy: Same goes for Italy. In the 90s they used to have Zola, Vialli, Casiraghi in the Premiership, lately they had Canavaro,Zambrotta, Toni abroad. They all failed in Spain in Germany respectively. So same conclusion. The Italians are not that successful outside Italy, and Seria A being one of the top leagues attracts more than to make them leave.

    Germany- I really cannot recall a German player besides Klinsmann and Haman (I do not count Lehman) making a successful career outside Germany. Lately only C. Metzelder tried to succeed in Real Madrid and failed. Now he is back to Schalke 04. On top of that currently there aren’t any real big stars in the German Team..

    On other side you have : France,Brazil, Argentina,The Netherlands etc….almost all their players are playing in: England, Spain, Italy, Germany. In this sense if the world best players played in their home league, Messi, Ribbery, Robbin, etc.etc. etc…..should have stayed at home…

    Nope, simply the cash attracts to the BIG 4 leagues.

    So I believe the statement should be:
    The players of Spain,Italy,Germany and England play in their own leagues, as they are the best in the world.
    The players of Italy,Germany, England play mostly at home , because the track record simply shows that they are not that successful outside their championships (Spain is an exception)


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