Three quarters through the book and I'm still not sure what Foer is up to. I'm not sure how one makes a case for globalization by demonstrating how global capitalism has kind of fucked, or at least not really fixed, football.
The top Italian clubs throw the umpires. The Ukranians import Nigerian players, who are then treated poorly and whose playing style is unappreciated and stifled. The Serbs worship a war criminal who runs their key club, and he's eventually assassinated. The Brazilian football barons of yesterday co-opt Pele until he is bankrupt, who remakes himself only to make new financial mistakes with the barons of today. If this is how great globalization is for football, I'm becoming convinced that Foer must be making the case against. Or else he's making the case that it's just such a great sport that no amount of whack corruption can ever hinder its popularity.