by Sienna Hagedorn
Some of the greatest football players in the world such as Gerard Piqué, Sergio Ramos, and Iker Casillas all have one thing in common: Spanish blood. These athletes and the citizens of Spain have all been brought up in a country where football is an integral part of Spanish culture. This is what has allowed Spain to make itself one of the most successful breeders of football stars in the industry today. Through the leadership of Spain in its long adoption of football culture, other countries have followed and joined in gaining a sense of pride in football. Likewise, young souls have been influenced and until this day are still so. An Argentine professional footballer Lionel Messi, for example, has belonged to the club FC Barcelona since the days of the youth, and is currently ranked as one of the best players in the world - if not the best, alongside his rival, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Football was brought to Spain in the late 1900’s by students that had been studying abroad in Britain in conjunction with British immigrants. Since then football has grown from a sport into a “religion” in Spain. Even today, from a young age, children are exposed to the famous sport. Parents usually enter their children into the top soccer programs such as Kaptiva Sports Soccer Academy and InterSoccer Madrid. The sport is competitive and highly selective, causing heartbreak as well as incomparable triumph. Many times the love for soccer causes many stadiums to be sold out when highly intense matches such a Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona go head-to-head, resulting in high viewership on television.
Football has become a culture due to its sheer importance that it has brought into the lives of Spaniards. It is not only a dream job, a profession, a form of entertainment, but also a benefit to the economy. It benefits the economy by selling Spain as a pedestal of soccer culture, which in turn, produces millions of dollars. It benefits Spain’s society by keeping many young kids off the streets and instead, on the football pitch. It benefits what we know today as a sense of national unity.