chapter  1
16 Pages

From the South to Europe: A comparative analysis of African and Latin American football migration

The history of the migration of footballers to Europe and within this continent is not something new (Lanfranchi and Taylor, 2001; Taylor, 2006). From the outset, the worldwide diffusion of football has been the work of a transnational elite expatriated within the context of the expansion of capitalism (Lanfranchi, 2002) and the development of a ‘world economy’ (Wallerstein, 2006). Quotas limiting the presence of foreign players were first introduced in the 1920s as a result of the interwar geopolitical tensions (Poli, 2006a). For several decades, legal constraints have drastically limited expatriate presence in European clubs. Up until 1995, the percentage of expatriates in the five major European leagues1 had never risen above 10 per cent (Poli and Ravanel, 2009).