The Capitalism of Soccer
Why Europe's favorite sport is more American than baseball.
In Europe, the successful and rich teams grow richer. (For assembling and stockpiling talent, the New York Yankees have nothing on Spain's Real Madrid.) The poor get poorer, some teams fail entirely, and those intent on self-improvement have an opportunity every year to rise above circumstances. To quote another great middle-brow American intellectual (John Cougar Mellencamp): "Ain't that America?"
Daniel Gross is the Moneybox columnist for Slate and the business columnist for Newsweek. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter. His latest book, Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation, has just been published in paperback.
Photograph of David Beckham by Luis Gene/Agence France-Presse.