Here are a few interesting statistics: 6 players in Spain’s squad are from towns of less than 40,000 inhabitants. 5 are from towns/villages of less than 5,000 inhabitants. Only 3 players in Vicente del Bosque‘s squad grew up in the two largest cities in Spain, where over 10% of Spain’s population live (Madrid and Barcelona).
In the German squad only 3 players are from cities of a population of more than 1 million. There is only one player from Berlin, Germany’s biggest city. None are from Hamburg, Frankfurt or Düsseldorf . Gelsenkirchen (population: 256,652) have three players in the squad but Memmingen (Population: 41,050) have 2 players in the squad. 6 more players are from cities that are smaller than Wakefield, United Kingdom.
This is a cross-continent thing. In Argentina’s squad there are 15 players from cities that have less than 100,000 inhabitants and the big city, Buenos Aires has only 4 players in the squad. In Brazil’s squad many are from Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and other urban centers but quite a few are very small towns.
Why is that? I think that small towns help develop great players because in a small town people notice your skills earlier and help develop them faster. That’s a crucial element. The earlier you start nourishing skills, the better they will turn out to be. It also seems that, the bigger the city, the less likely someone is going to notice you are a talented boy.
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