"There is, we believe, something quintessentially American not just about baseball, but about all our major league sports. Basketball, football, and baseball engender competition and reward merit. They afford people, regardless of their background, the ability to gain fame and vast fortune. Each league marries marketing and brand-building to sex, power, and money. Sports are the ultimate market activity, with champions and losers minted every night and every season."
"Just so, whoever wants to know the heart and mind of Europe—and Latin America, as well as big chunks of Africa and Asia—had better learn soccer, the national pastime of the rest of the world."
"For when you look at the business of professional sports—in both Europe and the United States—American sports are virtually all socialistic while the European soccer leagues more closely resemble the entrepreneurial capitalism we Americans fetishize."
"In other words, the European system rewards ambition and ruthlessly punishes sloth and incompetence. At the beginning of each year, every owner places every dollar of investment on the line. And in European soccer, that can mean a huge sum. The market capitalization of Manchester United, a publicly held company, is about $1.2 billion!"
Higher and higher - Kathimerini
Football (soccer) - Wikipedia
Greece crowned Euro kings - CNN
Review of Euro 2004 - BBC
UEFA EURO 2004
Sports: soccer news - Moreover
Euro 2004 - Orkut