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Argentina Supplies World’s Soccer Teams With Most Players – SportsUntapped.com
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Added January 1st, 2011 by Ian

Argentina Supplies World’s Soccer Teams With Most Players
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The borders have opened up around the world for soccer players quite a bit in the last decade as players from all nations are making a living wherever they can. But it may come as a surprise to many fans that the South American country of Argentina is the tops when it comes to exporting soccer players to other nations as over 2,000 of them left for greener pastures in 2010. All of these moves bring in enormous amounts of money for the local clubs as well as the player’s agents.

Many Argentine teams are able to survive by seeking out good young players and then selling their rights to other teams. However, there are still a lot of decrepit stadiums in Argentina and there isn’t a lot of money being made on merchandising and tickets. A lot of players are viewed as mercenaries as they’ll play wherever the money is. Some of them become stars while many of them just make a decent living by moving from nation to nation and team to team.

A recent study by Euroamericas Sports Marketing showed that 2,204 players left Argentina in 2010, with Brazil coming in next with 1,674 players leaving. It’s estimated that the sales of Argentine players brought in a total of about $500 million. About 45 per cent of the players ended up in various European nations such as Spain, England, Germany, Italy, France, and Holland. The rest ended up in places such as Indonesia, Greece, Haiti, the Maldives, Finland, Albania, Scotland, and Mexico.

The problem of course is that teams in Argentina are selling their best players to survive as they’re not really making any money on television rights and merchandising. But even though the country sold the most players it doesn’t necessarily mean it have the most and/or best talent. They often sell players just to make money to pay off debts and are generally poorer than clubs in Brazil.

The Argentine Football Association signed a deal in 2009 that saw television rights go to government-run broadcasters. The contract sees all fames on free television and had a U.S. $600 million to $1 billion value to it. In reality, it was a way for the government to subsidize the clubs in some way while getting something back for it. The clubs all received a boost in income and the government became pretty popular with the nation’s football fans.

However, the level of talent is getting worse in Argentina’s domestic leagues as more and more players are being shipped out. Most of the clubs scout talented players and then develop their skills. These youngsters are typically between 13 and 18 and many are signed so the team doesn’t lose them to competitors. The good ones are then sold for millions to foreign teams.

But oftentimes it’s the players who have taken the time to learn a foreign language and to train seriously that end up playing overseas and making a decent living because the market is so big. In fact so many players are leaving that the Argentine Football Association often loses track of them, including Lionel Messi when he first took off for Barcelona in Spain.

Argentina’s national team manager Sergio Batista wants to open up offices in Italy and Spain to keep track of all the Argentine players in Europe. It might be a good idea because Argentina hasn’t lifted a major soccer trophy since 1993 and the last time it won a World Cup was in 1986.

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