The Triumph of Passion: How Strong Domestic Clubs Lead to National Soccer Success

31 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2012 Last revised: 12 Aug 2012

See all articles by Narek Sahakyan

Narek Sahakyan

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Michael W. Nicholson

US Agency for International Development

Dave Kritzberg

Appian Data Services

Date Written: August 3, 2012

Abstract

Despite the ubiquity of soccer fans and soccer talent throughout the global community, the highest quality soccer played on a weekly basis is constrained to a handful of European professional leagues, and the last two World Cup championships have been decided by a match between European teams. The dominant national team of the current era, Spain, hosts a professional league with clubs experiencing nearly unprecedented international success. Is this a coincidence? Do strong domestic clubs improve national team results? Employing annual panel data from 1993 through 2010 for all FIFA member countries, this paper investigates the relationship between a country’s soccer success at the club level and at the national level. By isolating the impact of domestic club strength on national teams, we show that stronger domestic clubs positively affect national team performance.

Keywords: Soccer, FIFA, Soccermetrics, xtivreg2, fixed-effects, panel data, IV/2SLS

JEL Classification: L83, H50

Suggested Citation

Sahakyan, Narek and Nicholson, Michael W. and Kritzberg, David, The Triumph of Passion: How Strong Domestic Clubs Lead to National Soccer Success (August 3, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2118328 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2118328

Narek Sahakyan (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

Wisconsin Center for Education Research
1025 West Johnson Street, Suite 785
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

Michael W. Nicholson

US Agency for International Development ( email )

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

David Kritzberg

Appian Data Services ( email )

4600 Adeline St Unit 229
Emeryville, CA 94608-3384
United States
3038086496 (Phone)

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