It is found that during 1999-2000 season of football in Italy, there were 33 percent of the series-A players that belong to foreign countries. Similarly, the teams of Spain and Germany also comprised of almost 40 percent of foreign players during the season of 1999-2000, whereas in France, the ratio of foreign players reached the level of 23 percent. It shows that the trend of international players hiring in the national teams has become a common practice for many of the European teams where the numbers of foreign players are considerable increasing in the national teams (Massarella, 2000, p62) The idea of hiring foreign players within the professional leagues in not very new, however; last decade has witnessed great momentum in the trend of internationalization of players.
The European professional leagues now commonly engage the players from other countries whom they think could significantly contribute towards the team victories. This thinking supports cross border movements of players and ultimately led towards the globalization of football game (Sepp, 2002, p77). The increased trend of foreign players’ induction in the British soccer league is also fuelled by the commercial interest that has swapped this popular sport into a football business.
English premier league specially appears to be most welcoming destination for the global sports migrants due to the increased level of commercial investment, the number of non-English players is considerably increasing in EPL. The league has become the career map for many of the global football luminaries that actually do not belong to England but gained success and fame through the platform of EPL. The foreign players are convinced to join English premier league in exchange for attractive incentives and salaries (Bale and Maguire, 1994, p21).
At present there is an average of 17 foreign players being hired in the 20 clubs of English premier league. These players have an important role in the victories of the team. For instance, in May 2008, the final of Championship League was played between Manchester United and Chelsea club in Moscow and out of 22 players, 12 were foreign players. The celebrity star of Manchester United Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese player. Many other football stars playing for different clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal, and Chelsea belong to non European countries and these clubs succeed to reach to the final rounds of the championships taking support of quality performance of these foreign players (Sapp, p77).
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