A great piece on looking at professional football as a means of production and how it shapes the way people play the game. The South American world view towards football is, indeed, very different from that of England. Further, in Europe itself, the English (and the Scottish and the Welsh and the Irish) way is radically different from that of the continent.
In South America, football combines both a means to a livelihood, a ticket to escape poverty as well as a means of human expression. Some of the greatest footballers of the continent have also been the most artistic and indeed influential footballers of all time – Pele, Garrincha, Maradona, Forlan… And most of them have come out of humble backgrounds playing football on the streets before finding opportunities for club and country.
Luis Suarez is, in that context, a journeyman from the continent.
One can also look at African and Asian football and footballers using the same lens.
I attended a Shakespeare lecture yesterday in which my lecturer gave a Marxist reading of The Tragedy ofJulius Caesar. According to Karl Marx, a German philosopher, individuals in society are shaped by their ‘mode of production‘, or the unity of the productive forces and the relations of production. Marx believes that this combination of labour, materials instruments etc. with the social structures which regulate the relations between humans in the production of goods affects how an individual exists with society: what they are depends on what they produce, and how they produce it.
Whilst I listened to this theory being applied to the play, I was reminded of an interview I saw on Goals on Sunday before the Liverpool v Manchester Unitedgame a couple of weeks ago. Gus Poyet, manager of Brighton FCand Uruguayan national appeared on the sofa on the show…
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