The world’s best soccer nations – Spain, Holland, Germany and Paraguay – are all strong democracies. China, the world’s most populous country, is ranked 84th, just ahead of Mozambique. Is this a coincidence?
Think about what makes a team play great soccer and some obvious answers jump to mind. Players matter and so does the coach, facilities, equipment and money for training. But where do great players come from? Will a better coach lead to victories on the field? How come some tiny nations, like Paraguay, prosper while gigantic ones flatter?