I love soccer tremendously, but something I am not very proud of is the fact that I have never once entered into an Italian soccer stadium, nor do I follow the sport. To think I've been in Italy on the eve of winning many a World Cup is even more distressing. But, nonetheless, I've always liked the sport for its democracy - with players, you need not look like the Incredible Hulk to play -- all it took was sheer talent.
But, the democracy of the sport goes further than that. The Economist once quipped, it's pretty much the only business in which goods (the players) move absolutely freely (I imagine other than the drug trade) -- So much so, you will undoubtedly find a rainbow coalition of teams and players moving round without impediments of needless regulations found in other industries.
So freely, in fact, that I was stunned to read a complaint by someone in Italy who remarked that
'it's strange to find so many Italians rooting for Inter Milan, when there's not a single Italian in the whole lot.'So, I did a bit of investigating, and actually, that statement is not 100% correct, but rather, 75%.
The SkySports roster gives the names of each of the players, but not their nationalities. But judging by the names, it looks as though if each team member went back to his place of origin as they do in one of their tournaments, Inter Milan for one would be hard-pressed to cobble together 11 players on the field:
Inter Milan Squad List
Javier Zanetti (Argentinian)
But, you're certain that all these guys can in the very least rely upon a bona fide Italian D.O.C. Manager. Well, check that label again. Manager Josè Mourinho is Portughese.
So, is it not just the researchers that are fleeing the country in a brain drain? Do we also have a sprain drain?