Aging soccer stars have left European and English pro teams to join Major League Soccer teams which is great for the fans, but not so great for the young players that are trying to make it professionally.
Very few young players make it to the MLS team each year depending on the spots that are needed to be filled because there are so many players that have that same goal of making it onto the team. The new players that get signed to teams are usually young from the ages of 16-20 because that is when they get recognized. Now, in addition to competing against other young players to get a spot, MLS hopefuls also must compete against world known stars that have been playing their whole lives.
Well-known players Wayne Rooney and Andrea Pirlo are the most recent aging stars that have left European and English pro teams to join MLS teams. Later in their careers, they may prefer slightly less intense competition and training. Although most competitive athletes live for playing against the best of the best, some are turning to a smaller and relaxed setting compared to the UEFA Champions League. Often, these are older players whose muscles aren’t as strong and are concerned about their future health.
All leagues have their own culture. European soccer is very passionate and focuses on always needing to win. When the result of a game is not good, the club and supporters see the result in a very negative way. A negative aspect from the fans would be riots in small towns, the anger put towards the club and team itself from a simple loss. Some pro players that have joined the MLS have expressed that they wanted to experience a different “cultural experience.” A cultural experience can mean experiencing different fan bases, meeting new people, different ways of playing the game, and the possibility of gaining different skills because the game sense is so different from every coach and club.
While this change may be bad for young players, it is good for the fans. The players joining MLS like Andrea Pirlo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and David Villa are popular worldwide. You have to pay big money to watch these amazing players play on a pro league team like Manchester United. Now with aging stars are joining the MLS, you can see one of these stars in your home city for a very small ticket price–an experience you might remember for the rest of your life.
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