Re:Framing Marxist Critical Lens (Soccer)

Power and money are two important factors that can determine your status in society or in more specific communities. Both of these factors and their importance can be identified everywhere. It is known through history that those who have more power and money have a certain dominion overt those who have less. The Marxist criticism consists about analyzing the effect of power and money in the different social classes and how this creates unfairness and inequality. As mentioned previously, these factors can be identified everywhere and sports are not the exception. In many sports, the power factor is very influential and it can determine the success or failure of an athlete.

The Beginning of All

Soccer is recognized as world’s most famous sport. Everywhere in the world there are people that like to play the sport, but some of them have different purposes and this is where money and power play an important role. In the less-developed countries, the poverty rates are often high and there’s a greater amount of people that don’t have much compare to those who have. Using South American countries like Brazil, Colombia, or even Argentina as examples, those who have less find a particular passion in soccer. The young people from the less favored communities find soccer as their way to succeed and become part of that privileged high class. The big problem is that there are not enough spots for all of the people that want the same thing: become a professional soccer player, as this will assure them money and a life style that they believe they can only achieve by playing the sport. The desire of power and money is what pushes the young kids in the poor communities to play soccer.


Young boys playing soccer in less-benefited area in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Picture by: unknown.

 Changed Lives

In professional soccer, there are several examples of those kids who succeeded and who’s life was changed due to their passion for the sport and their desire of money. One of the most recognized cases are Brazilian players. Who’s considered to be the best player of modern soccer, Ronaldinho, was raised in one of the most violent and poorest places in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His family didn’t have resources to move on, but when he was a kid, he decided to play soccer as he knew that it was his and his family’s only way to get out of there. He made the decision of dedicating his life to soccer, leaving school to only focus his life in the sport. Due to his great ability, he got recruited by a professional team and got to play his first game when he was 17 years old. It was the beginning of a successful career, where he had the chance to play for the best teams in the world showing a talent and a desire of playing that no one else had. He desired money and power because he didn’t want to live all his life in a Brazilian favela and wanted to be part of that “high class”. He achieved it, just as many other players have done it, but this shows how important money is, and how in soccer it can determine success, as your ‘passion’ is based on the needs.

 The Transition and Failure

Being a professional soccer player of a high level league guarantees players a luxurious life with lots of money for them to enjoy. The transition from the lower to the higher class is hard, and some soccer players get stuck in here. Young people that go from having almost nothing to having almost everything often decide to start enjoying their money and doing with it what they dreamed about doing in their childhood when they were poor. The problem is that they forget that soccer is their priority and they start to prefer spending their money and having fun rather than keep playing. This can cause problems to a player, as the lack of commitment can get him out of the team and in a long term, he might end up playing for a low level league where he can’t earn as much money as he desired. The fact that they want to do what they couldn’t when they were poor shows how the difference in classes are reflected in young people’s minds. The lower class people dream to have the power and money that the higher class have, and those who (thanks to soccer) make their dreams reality often throw everything away because of the excess in ambition and the lack of guidance (education) to be more responsible with what they have.


In conclusion, applying the Marxist criticism to soccer, it is fair to say that young kids from the lower class dream of having what the higher class have, and they use soccer as their way to reach their goals. This shows the importance of money and power and the influence it has on young kids that all they want is a better life for them and their families. What is ironic is that those of the higher class that ‘exploit’ the lower class (by hiring them and not paying well for example) can actually be those who once where poor. Money can transform a humble person into a very selfish one and that’s the society’s problem. Those who go from not having much to having a lot can forget about their past and become part of that higher class that only keeps the unfairness between classes and contribute to that idea of ‘making the poor poorer and making the rich richer’.