For the Champions League, English football transformed

Manchester United players (left to right) in the second row: Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea, French midfielder Paul Pogba, Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek, England defender Harry Maguire, defender Swedish Victor Lindelof and Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo. Front row: England defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Brazilian midfielder Fred, England defender Luke Shaw, England striker Jadon Sancho and Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes pose for a photo ahead of the group’s football game UEFA Champions League F between Young Boys and Manchester United at the Wankdorf stadium in Bern on September 14, 2021.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – English football has been at the top of the bill for several seasons and that’s nothing new. Are 2019 and 2021 the culmination of this domination? We can legitimately think so with the “English” finals of May 2019 of the Champions League (Liverpool FC – Tottenham Hotspurs FC) and the Europa League (Chelsea FC – Arsenal FC) and also, the year 2021 which is also historic. for English football with the 100% English Champions League final between Chelsea FC and Manchester City FC, not to mention Manchester United FC’s accession to the Europa League final.

The icing on the cake, the England national team was also in the final of the Euro… To say that some had bet on a collapse of the English clubs with the Brexit… These English victories remind me of a part of my youth when the clubs English won the European Cups (Champions League for Nottingham Forest FC in 1979 and 1980, Liverpool FC in 1981 and 1984, Aston Villa FC in 1982, or the Cup for Everton FC in 1985, UEFA Cup for Ipswich Town FC in 1981 and Tottenham Hotspurs FC in 1984).

Football lovers are delighted, the 2021-2022 Champions League kicks off with four English clubs: Chelsea FC, Manchester City FC, Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC. Very often we have heard and read that English football is in danger with globalization, but it is clear that this has transformed English football.

Migrations, migrations

A few years ago, Marcel Desailly, World and European Football Champion and former Chelsea FC player, explained at the Legisport Conference that I had great pleasure in organizing in Marseille that internationalization has brought the “ light ”to the Premier League. During this Symposium, we explained the importance of foreign players and managers in England at the time, including the Scottish “Sir” Alex Ferguson with Manchester United, but also Kenny Dalglish (Scotland), Arsène Wenger (France) , Claudio Ranieri (Italy), José Mourinho (Portugal), Rafael Benitez (Spain)…

Let us not forget that the study of the international migration of team sports players and coaches has become a subject of interest after the liberalization of the movement of community and non-community sports personnel. Every year, I carry out the “Sport and Nationalities” study and the tendency for teams is to play the globalization card, except in specific cases. The Premier League and its football clubs have made globalization an asset to win.

The May 2019 “English” finals of the Champions League (Liverpool FC – Tottenham Hotspurs FC) and the Europa League (Chelsea FC – Arsenal FC) are well known, we have just mentioned them. The last Champions League final in which Chelsea FC defeated Manchester City FC 1-0 in Porto on 29 May 2021 is interesting as it demonstrates the influence of foreign players. In particular, the goal scored by Kai the German player Havertz in the final is essential, as is the role played by coach Thomas Tuchel, recruited during the season after being dismissed by PSG. The German coach lined up at the kick-off three English players (Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Mason Mount) and eight foreign players, three Germans (Antonio Rudiger, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner), a Senegalese (Édouard Mendy), a Brazilian (Thiago Silva), a Spanish (Captain César Azpilicueta), a French (N’Golo Kanté) and an Italian (Jorginho).

Three foreigners (the Danish Andreas Christensen, the American Christian Pulisic and the Croatian Mateo Kovacic) entered the game. Likewise, the French players contributed to this victory for the London club in the European Cup with the performance of N’Golo Kanté, man of the final and the eight goals scored by Olivier Giroud during the competition in the entirety. of the European season, even if he did not play the final.

On the side of Manchester City, finalist in the Champions League, the Spaniard Pep Guardioala lined up in the starting XI four Englishmen (John Stones, Kyle Walker, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling) and seven foreigners (the Brazilian Ederson, the Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko, Portuguese Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva, German Ilkay Gundogan, Algerian Riyad Mahrez and Belgian Kevin de Bruyne, captain).

Globalization has not weakened English football

Globalization has not weakened English football and Lebanese sports science academic Nadim Nassif to tell us: “Statistically speaking, globalization has not really hurt training in England. In 2017, England won the Under-20 World Cup for the first time in its history, the Under-17 World Cup for the first time in its history, the European Under-20 Cup 19 years old for the first time since 1993, the Toulon youth tournament (which she also won in 2016 and 2018).

This work on young people has borne fruit for seniors. The English national team has never made a World Cup semi-final followed by a Euro final (where it has not lost a match in regulation time). With a lot of money and know-how, we can profit from globalization, while developing training ”.

Nicolas Scelles, lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School whom we interviewed in the sports legal newsletter LEGISPORT after the 100% English final of the 2019 Champions League did not hesitate to say: “Globalization has two opposite effects .

On the one hand, the influx of foreign players makes it more difficult to gain entry into a Premier League club and limits the playing time of English players at the highest level.

On the other hand, the fact of confronting coaches and players among the best in the world, if only on the basis of daily training, contributes to their physical, tactical and technical improvement ”.

And on August 27, 2021, excellent news for English football: Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo announces his return to Manchester United FC…

Players abroad?

As for the English football selection, the results are there and during the last Euro, the selection of the “three lions” reached the final. Coach Gareth Southgate has lined up the following eleven English players (10 players in England): Jordan Pickford (Everton FC), Kyle Walker (Manchester City FC), John Stones (Manchester City FC), Harry Maguire (Manchester United FC), Luke Shaw (Manchester United FC), Kierian Trippier (Atletico Madrid – Spain), Kalvin Philips (Leeds United FC), Declan Rice (West Ham United FC), Mason Mount (Chelsea FC), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City FC) and Harry Kane ( Tottenham Hotspurs FC).

Also in my youth, I had been marked by the exploits of English footballers abroad. Unforgettable Kevin Keegan, mega star in Hamburg SV with phenomenal performances. Who does not also remember Mark Hateley and Glenn Hoddle at AS Monaco FC, Chris Waddle at Olympique de Marseille or later Steve McManaman at Real Madrid CF?

See also on Then24: Ahead of the Champions League final, English fans are sweeping through Porto and not everyone is happy

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