Are National Teams National Any More?

Baris Gerceker@barisgrckrCorrespondent IOctober 16, 2008

Continental Football Associations are organising the major competitions, still. Every continent has their own nation-wise competition as well as the major World Cup. Almost every nation has excitement starting from the qualifiers and ones who manage to join the tournament itself seek for even more. But are national teams national any more?

It definitely depends on one's political view towards life. If you are really fond of your country, love the land you live on and if you enjoy football the little bit then it is your concern. Some may love football more than they love their country though, it is a totally different story for them; they might support "the game" itself, the one who plays it best according to him/her.

Then it may even reach out to the extent of nationalism, chauvinism, even racism. At that point the " game lovers" feel betrayed and pushed aside. But football today is pushing almost all to that point since national teams are losing their nationalities.

Adolf Hitler and its German nationality is some kind of a curse upon German people, which brings up the wrong prejudice that they would be racist. Some are and some aren't of course, like almost all nations do they bear those kind of people as well as exactly the opposite. Turkey has the same, England has the same, France, Spain, Italy, all has their racists. Since it is an extreme arm of some certain political view and football is not far away enough from politics, one should not be surprised with this. But of course it is not welcome.

Racism against other nations is a part of this political view but how about foreign players with local citizen ships who are able to play under the national jersey. First that comes to mind is Deco maybe. And then couple of players who are wearing the white-black-red-yellow jerseys of Germany, ironically. Polish roots, Nigerian roots... Turkish national team bears a great defensive midfielder, Mehmet Aurelio. And even some really Turkish players of the line-up are born and raised in foreign lands, who almost are unable to speak Turkish.

Mert Nobre is expecting to be called up for national team soon enough, after Turkey's failure to defeat Estonia in Tallin manager Terim was criticised for not calling him in for example. Many nations are trying to keep up with their young talents who are based abroad so that they will use their choice towards the nation they are linked to, rather than the one they grown onto.

Turkey has many difficulties with that, finding it hard to replace their left fullbacks a Turkish left fullback Malik Fathi chose German national team. Mesut Ă–zil's final decision is awaited, German press is sure he will pick the nation he lives in rather than the nation his roots belong to.

If you really are lacking in certain positions and you have eligible foreigners with your naitonality you may find it the only way out, but some nations do it in the sense "don't let them get him, even if he is not good enough for us", which is ridiculous. They think one will turn out to be a good player and even if he doesn't for your side, why let him go to another nation. This is purely ugly. Because some mediocre players may not be mediocre for their real nations.

Club-based football is getting more and more global all the time, even though FIFA with the lead of Blatter is fighting against the radius of this globalization they cannot help it against some defined laws and regulations previously built. Their only escape it the national teams and with "recruited foreigners" playing in national teams the national teams are losing their nationalities, which sometimes reduces the amount of ownership people feel for their national team.

The view to be seen now is one huge pool of players, scattered around in a totally free market, where no one is able to identify who is coming from where. Or just the contrary will take place, traditionalism and nationalism will rise against this exaggerated form of globalization and tables will turn. Which is more likely, guess we'll have to wait and see.