As for Brazil, its exports of soccer players this year amount to more than its gun exports for the same period in 2011. In Uruguay, the athletes are worth more than the country’s fish exports, and in Ecuador, about the same as its coffee and tea exports combined.
According to Quartz, it’s very common these days for young Latin American soccer prodigies to eventually leave their home countries for Europe. Argentina and Brazil alone exported over 3,000 soccer players, which equated to over $400 million in soccer talent. That’s a lot of dough.
So, need we ask again how important soccer is in Latin America?