Play fresh, play local: The case of Athletic de Bilbao
Sport in Society
This essay aims to shed new light on the Athletic Bilbao football club's famous Basque-only hiring philosophy. First, several definitions of 'Basque player' are discussed, including those based on ethnic origin, ideology and birthplace. Given that none of the alternatives fit the hiring policy exactly, a new proposal is made: Athletic's hiring policy can only be defined by using a loose version of the term 'local community', the way it is applied to food systems by campaigns such as 'Buy Fresh, Buy Local', that promote the use of local resources. In this light, Athletic appears not as an ideologically influenced institution that excludes foreigners, but rather as an example of a general reaction against the globalization of football and what some perceive as its negative effects on the sport.
Department of Modern Languages
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Castillo, Juan Carlos, "Play fresh, play local: The case of Athletic de Bilbao" (2007). Faculty Publications. 2591.