Saturday, July 3, 2010

Why the World Cup sucks: Countries buying foreign players

Following Argentina's surprise defeat to Germany I couldn't help but notice if it wasn't for their Polish, Turkish and African mercenaries Germany wouldn't have much of a squad.

I understand if a player of foreign descent is born in the country he represents but Miroslav Klose is not only 100% Polish but also born in Poland (and just happens to be Germany's all time leading goal scorer at the World Cup). Imagine if Klose and Podolski played for their native country, perhaps it would be Poland heading to the semifinal instead of failing to even qualify.

The French team looks more like Côte d'Ivoire, Portugal is Brazil's B team, the Netherlands are Surinam's finest while Kosovo found a way to field their own team in Swiss uniforms. Even obscure Eastern European countries like Croatia are lead by born and raised Brazilians. I'm not suggesting FIFA should start enforcing eugenics but this is supposed to be an INTERNATIONAL competition, if I want to see the best mix of global stars playing together there's always CLUB football.

Another point is this becomes an economic issue, I don't see African, Asian or South American teams wooing English, French or German players to come play for them. To me it makes more sense when players like
Giuseppe Rossi, Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Jong Tae-Se choose to play for their parent's countries as opposed to the states they were born in but have no cultural or ancestral connection with. Out of the major European teams only Italy and Serbia have resisted 'buying' players with Spain being a mild but consistent offender (especially in past World Cups).

To make the World Cup more 'true' I suggest FIFA enforces the place of birth rule (like they do for presidents) unless the player has a clear bloodline to that country within the last 2 generations.

PS - i just realized Camoranesi is Argentine which leaves Serbia as the only top 15 European country which doesn't need foreign talent to field a competitive team (which crushed germany) SRBIJA!!!