While chatting last week With a professor of Applied Economics from the University of Valladolid, I noticed the resounding statement that if Spain won the World Cup, or at least reached In the final, a giant step would have been taken to forget the much-mentioned crisis that has been engulfing the country for a couple of years and that seems not to have affected the football market, being last season the one in which more money was invested in the history of Iberian football.
At this point, after a month of media saturation due to the evolution of Jabulani baseball, deafening ourselves with vuvuzelas, being crushed by Maradona’s bravado, inevitably witnessing Ronaldo’s spitting and having abandoned our usual distractions and duties in favor of football, we return to normality.
But life slowly rearranges itself, especially for triumphant countries like Spain, the Netherlands, Uruguay, or depressed ones like France, Italy, Brazil or Argentina, which receive a very strong impact depending on the performances of their teams. In almost all cases, these days the coaches and players have had the “rank” of Ministers of State or Ambassadors. And beyond the sociological or political “shock” (Sarkozy met with Henry to ask for an account), there is the economic one.
For example, in Italy, after it was proclaimed soccer world champion in 2006, tourism in 2007 increased by 12 percent. In addition to the direct impacts, these epics achieve gains in visibility, confidence, and other psychological effects that the tiresome musicality of repeating the name of the champion country or the organizer inevitably manages to impose.
But the profits are not limited to the following year, rather they can achieve stability in their performance as a factor of endogenous economic growth, to become a robust industry. Who is the brave one who argues that Uruguay, Brazil, and many African countries are not supply markets for European teams. It is estimated that there are a thousand Argentine players swarming through various cities of the Old Continent, from Istanbul to La Coruña.
Just as economists have endlessly given us the example of economies of agglomeration and attraction of technological capacity, Sillycon Valley, of creative talent, Hollywood, and industrial districts in Italy, in the same way it could be commented that after days Like these, Spanish clubs, gyms, shops and factories rub their hands that their compatriots are performing worldwide in soccer, cycling or tennis. And not only they rub it, but the entire string of employees and micro-entrepreneurs who benefit from jobs associated with tourist, medical, leisure and free time services or mass media communication (remember that the newspaper Marca is the most sold from the peninsula, above El País or El Mundo).
In Spain, some businessmen invoke the Virgin Mary and Paul the Octopus, seeing that, after the fall of the “brick market” and given the penalties of the financial markets, sport could serve as an attraction of capital, since innovation it still does not seem to be able to absorb idle capacities and relatively low productivity in comparative terms with the Nordic countries.
We will see if the strong arm of Nadal, the size of Gasol, the finesse of Iniesta, the endurance of Contador, the gallantry of Marta Domínguez, the intelligence of Xabi Alonso, the composure of Del Bosque or the vision of Guardiola help to overcome the waves and the dangerous flooding of the river of the economic changes taking place on the planet.