There is, of course, a lot of soccer talent all over Europe. But some places seem to turn out more top players than others. We like to talk about hotbeds for talent in any sport. In baseball, many Americans think of the Dominican Republic and Japan as hotbeds where many major league players come from.
Recently, soccer experts have taken a look at which cities are producing soccer talent which ones are underperforming.
Perhaps the most recognizable hotbed for English soccer talent is the region of Merseyside. Household names like Wayne Rooney, Steve McManaman, Steven Gerrard, and Robbie Fowler all come from the region.
In contrast, Liverpool produces very few professional players of high status. This could be because Liverpool does not have much of a metropolitan area so scouts are more limited in searching for players within the city itself.
Irish stars are rife within the European football leagues. This may be because Irish culture value sports quite a bit and their youth soccer leagues are very well organized. Guys like George Best, Damien Duff, and Robbie Keane all hale from Ireland.
Interestingly enough, the major cities in Ireland such as, Dublin, Limerick, Belfast, Derry, and Cork, produce more top-level soccer players than many English cities.
It’s hard to know exactly why some cities turn out more top players than others. These things change over time. As programs for kids grow in certain cities they fall off in others. But the experts stay on top of this and so do we. More analysis coming on the up and coming hotbeds for European soccer.