Soccer Player Culture: From a Socioeconomic Point of View

In the world of sports the different characteristics of athletes are perceived by people in a variety of ways. The truth is that athletes are people with competitive desires to achieve success and be the best in their respective sports, but all of this is just part of their culture. Ambition is one of the greatest traits of this culture, since it is known that the greater the success, the bigger amount of money received for an achievement and this is one of the engines of this culture. Being soccer one of the most attractive sports in the world, it encourages great amounts of people to try to achieve success in it. The sports culture is reflected in different ways depending of the sport, but the soccer players culture is outstanding among the rest because of their socioeconomic aspects.

Different Social Classes

The soccer players culture is characterized by social traits and also economic situation. There are, of course, the least and most favored classes in the sport but this can be determined because of several aspects. One of them is the league’s level. If it’s a league where not many successful players are playing in, it means that it is not highly developed. Also, the geographic location matters since the highest level leagues are in Europe, followed by Latin America, while continents such as Africa or Asia don’t enjoy of the same benefits. Social class affects the culture of soccer, since players that come from poverty situations are usually more aggressive in the way of playing and they put more effort. In the other hand, those who were more favored and reached professionalism, are those players who play more calmed and elegant, so it would be fair to say that socioeconomic traits are reflected in the way soccer players play.


“Behind the scenes of Brazil’s 2014 World Cup”. Shows the difference in classes in soccer. Link to image here.


As mentioned previously, the background of a soccer player has a great influence in the way he plays, and this is a reflection of the culture of the sport. Usually, least favored soccer players come from a situations of poverty in their childhoods (mostly South America and Africa). Most of them use soccer as the tool to get out of poverty and it’s possible to identify these players just by the way they play. Since they’re young they acquire the mentality and determination of making soccer their way out to a better life and they play in a stronger and more passionate way. The most favored players were able to afford tools to achieve professionalism and this makes a difference in the way they play too.

Expectations and Behaviors

Millions of people all over the world love to watch soccer every weekend, something that puts responsibility on soccer players regarding the way they must behave, or the culture they should portray. Depending on the league’s level or the country, the expectations are more demanding. In the European leagues, players must show class, respect, and discipline since they are the highest level leagues. However, a great amount of players that come from rough backgrounds decide to use the economic power they achieved and waste it in luxuries and things that don’t go along with the sport itself. Those who do this usually end up playing in a lower level leagues where the expectations aren’t as high and this is how great careers end. Those players who come from more stable backgrounds usually maintain their discipline through their entire careers and retire at a greater age.


Cristiano Ronaldo’s change from poverty to success in soccer. Link to the image here.


In conclusion, it is fair to say that the culture of soccer is reflected in different ways through socioeconomic aspects. The expectations and the ways of playing are factors that change based on social class and money. They clearly affect the number of opportunities a player can have to achieve success, the discipline that the player has, or the highest point they can reach. In the end, all of these concepts sum up to the culture of soccer players itself, as it is possible to see how do players behave, what to expect from them, and what they really do with their careers.


*Link to featured image here.*