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Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
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Kid Strangelove Offline
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Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
It started last year as a joke with my friend when we were watching the soccer World Cup on TV:

TV Announcer - ... the young defender, playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy...
My Friend: ... wow, LA Galaxy huh? That's just another way of saying he sucks

And it got me thinking, MLS is not a very well respected league for soccer. Just look at the 3 finalists of the last MLS MVP award:
  • David Ferreira (winner) - never appeared in the world cup, 31 years old, played for a Colombian club and a Brazilian club
  • Edson Buddle - played at MLS most of his career, had 2 appearances in the last world cup
  • Chris Wondolowski - at 28 made his first USA team national appearance.



In fact, if you look at the 2010 USA world Cup team, of the 23 players, only 4 were on active MLS rosters, 5 if you count Jay DeMerit, who was out of contract at the time but plays for Vancouver. So our countries best players hone their skills in other, more competitive leagues.

Now, it got me thinking - how does that work with other sports? (thanks to youngmobileglobal for the inspiration).

Do you make a lot of money, compared to the cost of living? Are you worshiped as a super athlete even though you would get absolutely dominated? Because, when you look at it, there are a LOT of professional sports teams out there.

For example, in Ice hockey (The sport I played and was good, but not D1 college scholarship good at) you have the following leagues:

The NHL - the fucking big dogs. Top of the top.

KHL - the Russian hockey league that continuously signs aging NHLers to contracts that the NHL wouldn't dare give them anymore. If you looked at the 2010 Winter olympics, team Russia in particular, you noticed that the KHL guys were a LOT slower than their NHL counterparts.


..... but if you look closely:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ice_hockey_leagues
There are professional hockey leagues EVERYWHERE.
Now, I know I could never cut it with the Philadelphia Flyers, but what about the Dublin Flyers? not bear enough to play for the Boston Bruins? Well what about the Shanghai Dragons?


Ice hockey not your cup of tea? Well, what about:
American Football: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_fo...by_country
Basketball: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_basketball_leagues


Anyway, I was wondering if anyone out there knew more about sports outside the accepted major leagues - most importantly - the money, perks, fame and cost of living. Cause if this shit is good, I might just have to get back into skating shapeSmile
06-03-2011 01:44 PM
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Excelsior Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
Ah, you picked a really fun topic here. One of my favorite pasttimes has been researching the salaries/lifestyles of players in relatively "minor" pro leagues around the world, particularly soccer/football leagues. Here's what I know, I'll try and break it down by sport. I'll start with American football, since that's the game I play.

American Football:

NFL(National Football League)-Obviously the top dog. Min. salary around $300,000(not including bonus that stands usually around $25,000) and max can go up as high as $28 million for top quarterbacks. This is clearly where everyone wants to be.

CFL(Canadian Football League)-This is as close to big time football as you are going to get outside of the NFL. The average salary in the CFL is anywhere from $60-80,000(that's American dollars, not Canadian). Minimum is something like $40-45,000. A starter who isn't a quarterback can expect to pull $150,000 to $250,000. A starting QB can expect to start at around $250,000, with the best QBs in the league pulling about $500,000 all in.
If you can't get to the NFL, the CFL isn't a bad way to make a living. They have a lot of fan support(in places like Saskatchewan and Calgary local players are basically gods) and you get paid pretty well for 5-6 months of playing(training camp and the season).

Bottomline: The CFL is where you want to be if you can't break in to the NFL.

UFL(United Football League)
-This is the newest minor sports league out there. It only has 5 teams, but awareness about it is growing. The set salary right now in this league is $40,000. If you team gets to the championship game, there is a $10,000 bonus for every player, $20,000 if you win it. So a good player in this league has a shot to make around $60,000. Quarterbacks make around $150,000-200,000 a year here.
The UFL is a good option for players who were not drafted into the NFL and/or were recently released. It is decent money for a young guy who would be on the street otherwise, and the level of play is good.

GFL(German Football League)-This is the only foreign league I'm going to cover extensively because it really is the only one that matters. The GFL is the oldest and most established foreign league, and it has among the best pay out there. A player working for a GFL club won't make a whole ton(probably $10-20,000 or so) but does get other compensation(housing during the season, access to a car, etc). A lot of lesser known college players(I know several Ivy League, Candian College and Division 3 NCAA players over there now) give it a shot, as its a fun way to get paid to keep playing for a bit. a lot of them room with one another and learn a lot about other cultures while there.
NFL teams, however, don't have a ton of respect for European football in general. When they're looking for talent, it tends to go like this(in order from first priority to least):

NCAA
CFL/UFL
AFL
Other leagues(Europe, IFL, etc)

Anyone considering European football as a stepping stone to the pros should be careful.

Other American Leagues: There are a bunch of little arena/indoor football leagues in the US. The most notable ones are the IFL(Indoor Football League) and the SIFL(Southern Indoor Football League). you'll occasionally see some former college stars in these leagues trying to make it into the Arena Football League, which is the best one.

None of the indoor football leagues offer great compensation. The AFL(Arena Football League) is the best. Players make a few hundred bucks a game and margue players can make over a thousand per game, putting yearly compensation for an AFL player at anywhere from $6-$16,000 a season, or therabouts. The AFL is the only indoor league with a TV contract(NFL Network), and it gets by far the most attention and pay.

Everyone else is making $250-300 per game, or something near that.

There are also a bunch of little semi-pro leagues in the country that really aren't worth talking about.

Other European/Foreign Leagues of American football: Outside of Germany, there are some clubs(I'm talking about individual teams here-not all within a league will be created equal) in Switzerland, Italy, France and a handful of other countries that could offer you decent compensation(a few thousand bucks and a place to stay), but that's it. Most clubs in Europe are what we would call "semi-pro"-you won't be making bank playing for them. American football in other countries(I know players in Brazil and Australia) is almost strictly amateur. You're going there to play for fun and learn about another culture, not to make money of find a way into the NFL.

The Japanese "X-League" consists mostly of corporate teams, so most of the players are actually employees. Some Americans are offered and do show up, but don't expect much more compensation than you'd get in Germany.

There's basically the extent of American football worldwide. I'm pessimistic about it spreading much further than it has. Football is an expensive game to get running and it only has major cultural significance in the US. The German League has been around for a while and it gets alright support. The CFL is actually older than the NFL and will persist for a long time(it gets higher rating than many NHL games). Other than this, I believe football will remain niche. Perhaps the GFL will grow a little as it already does have a little cult following, but that'll be it.

I'll try and cover other sports in another post.

You lose money chasing women, but you never lose women chasing money.
(This post was last modified: 06-03-2011 02:22 PM by Excelsior.)
06-03-2011 02:19 PM
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OSL Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
My TaiwaneseAmerican friend and I are looking for ways to break him into the Asian PGA.
06-03-2011 09:12 PM
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Gavin1234 Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
Really interesting post, Athlone. One question: are the wages you quote yearly?

Concerning the German Football League, you are right that American Football has got some following in Germany but it is not by any means large. I even doubt that their matches are covered anywhere on TV (maybe the final is on some small regional channel, but that is probably it). And without TV, money is limited. Not a lot of stadium attendance either (wikipedia tells me that the best have around 5000 spectators but many teams have less than 1000 on average).

Or to put it another way, Kiel are the current champions of the GFL. But in that city the most respected pro team is actually a Handball team (THW, actually handball is quite big in the north of Germany, unlike the rest of the country). Then comes the shitty fourth division football (soccer) team Holstein and then only the American football team.

Talking about wages, good handball players in Germany might make up to 300000-400000 EUR a year, although average players probably make a lot less but then you might have the opportunity to learn a job at the club etc. But keep in mind that the German handball league is among the best.
06-04-2011 04:40 AM
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Excelsior Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
(06-04-2011 04:40 AM)Gavin1234 Wrote:  Really interesting post, Athlone. One question: are the wages you quote yearly?

Correct. I'm listing what a player will make for a season of play, so basically it is a yearly salary. Some NFL players will make a little bit more money from their teams during the offseason in bonuses and they do get paid a few thousand for training camp, but that's about it.

Quote:Or to put it another way, Kiel are the current champions of the GFL. But in that city the most respected pro team is actually a Handball team (THW, actually handball is quite big in the north of Germany, unlike the rest of the country). Then comes the shitty fourth division football (soccer) team Holstein and then only the American football team.

Talking about wages, good handball players in Germany might make up to 300000-400000 EUR a year, although average players probably make a lot less but then you might have the opportunity to learn a job at the club etc. But keep in mind that the German handball league is among the best.

Handball is interesting. Here is some good info on salaries. I took it from Yahoo answers, but it comes from a source called teamhandballinfo.net.

Quote:- Iker Romero, he signed for Barcelona in 2004 for € 1 mill for 3 years, so that´s a € 333.333 salary per season. He recently signed a new extension until 2012, I don´t know how much he will be making now, but around the same. Besides, Barcelona paid Ciudad Real around € 500.000 for his buyout, the highest in team handball, as far as I am concerned.

- Some rumours said that Ivano Balic (Portland San Antonio) and Siarhei Rutenka (Ciudad Real) make around or even over € 400.000 a year. They are probably the 2 best players in Asobal league, so that makes sense.

- Players such as Barrufet, Juanín García, Nagy (Barcelona), Metlicic, Stefansson (Ciudad Real) Kjelling (Portland San Antonio) earn between 200.000-250.000 per season.

- The best paid players in the modest Asobal teams, for example Petric (Almería) makes € 100.000, García Vega (Algeciras) around € 70.000, Milosavlevic (Teka Cantabria) around the same...

- In the other hand, there are players surviving with € 1.000 / month. Mostly junior players and "homemade" players.

- In the second league in Spain, there are players that get to make Asobal salaries, actually € 30.000-40.000 is a common amount of money for the best players in the league. However there are a few amateur players as well, mostly junior players that are also in college or studying.

- In the third league, you can also find "professional" players, although the salaries are not as high there are players making around € 2.000/month in the top teams, which is a pretty good salary in Spain. Most of the players are amateurs though or they just earn a very few for gas and food.

- Regarding coaches, Dujshebaev (Ciudad Real) and Equisoain (Portland San Antonio) are the only ones in Spain that make more than € 120.000. Xesco Espar (Barcelona) makes that much, and Cadenas (Ademar León, in Barcelona next season) and Julián Ruiz (Bidasoa) make around € 100.000.

Overall, not bad money for handball. I'm sure most Americans don't even know this is a sport.

You lose money chasing women, but you never lose women chasing money.
(This post was last modified: 06-04-2011 10:20 AM by Excelsior.)
06-04-2011 10:19 AM
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Mr.GM Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
Here in Brazil most guys love to play football/soccer and play it well so there are some dudes that go overseas to play in small/medium size clubs in places like the US , small EU countries and Asia (where soccer is not so developed).When they get there many of them become stars/important players of their teams , earn wages and live the lifestyle that would be impossible for them in Brazil,because they don't have the skill level to play in a Brazilian soccer team.
I'm seriously considering to do some soccer try-outs in Sweden this year..lol Vicious said that swedish chicks will dig...

Some Americans play at the Brazilian basketball league here as well..guys who would never make it to the NBA or even the NCAA here in Latin America are stars of their teams.
06-04-2011 10:26 AM
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Excelsior Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
Let's talk about ice hockey now. Here are some good sources I found online. I'll include links with selected quotes:

http://forums.internationalhockey.net/sh...php?t=6068

Quote:I had a hard time placing this thread but decided to put it here.

In the new edition of The Hockey News there is much focus on Europe. Among other things, THN estimate the average salaries in the European top leagues.

Although it is a very difficult topic, I thought we could have a discussion on this.

For openers, the first thing I don't get is the estimated figures in THN.

Here they are: measured in US$[unless noted otherwise]

1. Russia: $400,000
2. Sweden: $200,000
3. Switzerland: $170,000
4. Germany (DEL): $150,000
5. Czech Republic: $100,000
6. Slovakia: $75,000
7. Finland: 67,000 Euros

Quote:In Slovakia, the top stars can earn 200 000$ per year, but those are just top 5 players in the league mainly from Slovan Bratislava (Robert Dome, Richard Kapus, Sasu Hovi, Marek Uram). Ziggy Palffy is an exception he earns around 350 000$ per year. There is a huge difference between teams, top teams can pay 50 000$ (for scoring line players). I would say 30-35k is average.
It is pretty hard because nobody really talks about players' salaries in Slovakia and there is a huge difference for the 3rd and 4th liners comparing to team leaders.

Quote:Austria:

There were some rumors about Dieter Kalt getting 200.000€ in Salzburg, but that would be an outlier for sure, although that amout could be accurate for some top players in the league.

I heard something about Chris Brandner getting 360.000€ for 3 years in Klagenfurt, but also no secure numbers here in Austria, atleast afaik...

I would estimate the average numbers to be at about 40-60k (in €) perhaps, but maybe someone has more reliable numbers.

Note: These previous posts use numbers from 06-08. The next few have more recent information.

Quote:Goaltender Patrick DesRochers in the Norwegian Elitserien had a salary of $150,000 and forward Martin Strandfeldt had a salary of $120,000 in 2009.
(source:skatteetaten)

Those two would probably be among the top in the salary list.

And according to EP the average salary in the Norwegian Elitserien was $50,000 and $120,000 in the Swedish Elitserien, season 2009/10.
(source:eliteprospects)

Quote:This is just from what info I have gathered researching over time.. Im sure if Graham reads this thread he might have a better estimate but anyway here goes..

In the UK EIHL a top import would earn around $50,000 per year along with some perks like a car, housing paid for too.

Teams find way's around the 'salary cap' though such as paying players as 'coaches' aswell to boost their salaries.

Here is an entire thread about German hockey pay:
http://forums.internationalhockey.net/sh...php?t=9194

Best post from this thread, made back in March:

Quote:In the meantime (more than a year after my initial post) I found a lot of examples for the diffent salaries. DEL is a great place for foreigners so we have a lot of former NHL players there. The best players get up to 350.000 euro which at the moment is 487.000 us dollars but thats only possible if you play for Berlin or Mannheim.

Other players get around 80.000-120.000 us dollars. The salary is very similar to the AHL(2nd tier hockey league in USA after NHL), but good German players often get more so they refuse to play AHL after they are draftet by NHL teams if they dont see the possibility of playing in the NHL.

And in the 2. Bundesliga the salary is very similar to the ECHL (so thats why you see many players of these leagues in the DEL/2. Bundesliga).

To play in Oberliga as a foreigner is just for having the chance to live in Europe and maybe you get a 2. Bundesliga spot after it.

Another quote:

Quote:I know I am responding late to this thread, but one of the owners of a bar I used to work at was one of Derek King's (former Islander) best freind. I got to meet Derek a number of times.

He went over to Germany when Derek went there to play in the DEL and he told me that Derek was getting over $200,000 for the season. Plus house and car. In fact the whole team got a Mercedes. I am not sure what they are getting now.

So, to summarize:

German Bundesliga players(the top league) average in the low six figures and top out at around $400,000, plus cars and housing, etc.

German 2nd Bundesliga(second tier) players receive salaries roughly on par with the British EIHL(average maybe around $40-50,000, plus house, maybe a car, etc).
The Oberliga is for amateurs who are looking to move up-not much compensation down there.

In Europe, the KHL is the big dog when it comes to salaries. Those guys can make millions quite easily, and there is talk that their high salaries might even be forcing the NHL to raise the bar a bit. during the NHL lockout, the Russia was the first place most top players looked to go.

Scandinavia(Sweden especially) is next along with Germany, Switzerland, the Czechs and the Slovaks. The other leagues(Ireland, England, etc) are relatively tertiary and don't pay as much(maybe $30-50k yearly).

Ice Hockey outside of the US, Canada and Europe is pretty tertiary altogether. The game is played in China, North Korea, and South Africa among other place, but you won't make anything.

You lose money chasing women, but you never lose women chasing money.
(This post was last modified: 06-04-2011 11:03 AM by Excelsior.)
06-04-2011 10:39 AM
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wi30 Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
(06-03-2011 01:44 PM)Kid Strangelove Wrote:  ..... but if you look closely:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ice_hockey_leagues
There are professional hockey leagues EVERYWHERE.
Now, I know I could never cut it with the Philadelphia Flyers, but what about the Dublin Flyers? not bear enough to play for the Boston Bruins? Well what about the Shanghai Dragons?

I still play hockey in college right now and I was talking to one of my Swedish teammates about this. He told me that one of his buddies played in a Turkish league and actually made decent money. The league only played like 15 games and was basically played like an extended tournament over a few weeks. They paid most of his expenses and he dominated everyone there. My friend told me he was an average player in Sweden.

These pro leagues abroad range immensely in skill. Leagues like the KHL and Swedish Elite League have many prospects who end up in the NHL while teens in Canada could probably compete in a country like Armenia or Kyrgyzstan. I think it would be pretty cool to play somewhere that isn't known to have hockey like Asia or EE. It would be a great way to see the world and make a little money on the side.
06-04-2011 10:42 AM
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Gavin1234 Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutz_Pfannenstiel

Just look at this guy. A somewhat talented goalkeeper that had an offer from Bayern Munich when he was very young but instead went around the world to play on all continents. He also tried it in Europe but never got his break there.
06-04-2011 12:46 PM
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
Iceland has a Soccer league and a Basketball League.
Sweden has a Soccer/Basketball and Ice Hockey League of course.

I knew a dude from Canada that was paid decent money to play Basketball in the UK. Greece, Turkey, Lithuania are pretty big into Basketball.

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06-04-2011 01:00 PM
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Geronimo Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
What about playing football (European) in the States if you're an average player in Europe? Any tips?
06-04-2011 01:44 PM
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Gunner Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
(06-04-2011 10:26 AM)Mr.GM Wrote:  Here in Brazil most guys love to play football/soccer and play it well so there are some dudes that go overseas to play in small/medium size clubs in places like the US , small EU countries and Asia (where soccer is not so developed).When they get there many of them become stars/important players of their teams , earn wages and live the lifestyle that would be impossible for them in Brazil,because they don't have the skill level to play in a Brazilian soccer team.
I'm seriously considering to do some soccer try-outs in Sweden this year..lol Vicious said that swedish chicks will dig...

Some Americans play at the Brazilian basketball league here as well..guys who would never make it to the NBA or even the NCAA here in Latin America are stars of their teams.

Love how Brasileiros are born with a soccer ball attached to their feet, amazing. I once played against a fat carioca, I am an athlete so I was faster and had much more air but he had lot of touch and magic in his feet.
06-04-2011 05:33 PM
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Excelsior Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
(06-04-2011 01:44 PM)Geronimo Wrote:  What about playing football (European) in the States if you're an average player in Europe? Any tips?

Assuming you're a decent player at the amateur level in a good European football country(England, France, Italy, etc-not Iceland or Finland), then I'd say your best bet would be to try for a spot in the USL-Pro.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USL_Pro

It is the third tier or US soccer/football, with one team in Antigua. The average salary here is about $1400 monthly. As far as the level of play here goes, it would seem that most of the player are drawn from the ranks of American college soccer/football, and many of those are not from the highest division there either. A few of the guys have international experience, but they play for/are from small nations(Antigua, El-Salvador, the occasional Jamaican, etc).

I'm not sure how this would compare with the quality of a good amateur in Germany, the UK, or wherever, but if you have some skill at that level in Europe I would assume that perhaps you would have a shot to make a USL-Pro roster.

The next tier is the North American Soccer League.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Ameri...%282010%29

This is the highest league in the US after the MLS, and it has a team in Canada and Puerto Rico as well. A good player there can expect about $4k monthly, plus an apartment and a shared rental car (or your own rental car if you have a big enough family). Stipends are there for the USL, but they're not as big (usually no car and perhaps a shared apartment only).

Any leagues below these two are strictly amateur with little to no compensation or following.

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06-04-2011 06:07 PM
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
Not mention Formula One. There are minor leagues and most of the Brazilian Drivers are there, but no one can pay as much as F1
Ayrton Senna, Brunno Senna (decent pilot/worst car ever)...

Btw, my family is a football family. My cousin is playing at Sao Caetano (local club) has his own house and nice car at his 21 (rare in BR) and his cousin (not mine) is playing at Coritiba. My godchild in his 3 y/o already kicks the ball since he started to walk! LOL! His brother has participated of some teams applications also.

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06-04-2011 10:10 PM
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Gavin1234 Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
(06-04-2011 06:07 PM)Athlone McGinnis Wrote:  Assuming you're a decent player at the amateur level in a good European football country(England, France, Italy, etc-not Iceland or Finland), then I'd say your best bet would be to try for a spot in the USL-Pro.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USL_Pro

It is the third tier or US soccer/football, with one team in Antigua. The average salary here is about $1400 monthly. As far as the level of play here goes, it would seem that most of the player are drawn from the ranks of American college soccer/football, and many of those are not from the highest division there either. A few of the guys have international experience, but they play for/are from small nations(Antigua, El-Salvador, the occasional Jamaican, etc).

I'm not sure how this would compare with the quality of a good amateur in Germany, the UK, or wherever, but if you have some skill at that level in Europe I would assume that perhaps you would have a shot to make a USL-Pro roster.
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2016 12:52 PM by Gavin1234.)
06-05-2011 03:37 AM
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Geronimo Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
Thanks for the info athlone.
06-05-2011 04:10 AM
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
I have a friend playing pro football (american football) in Israel. He gets paid a livable salary, but not any more than you would expect from having a decent job. I don't think he's famous at all.
06-05-2011 10:20 PM
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Excelsior Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
(06-05-2011 03:37 AM)Gavin1234 Wrote:  One of the players of the Richmond Kickers is from the same town as me. He went over to the US as an exchange student and wound up to become a professional football player. Over here, he played in the fifth division or so and occasionally joined his old team when he was visiting Germany. I have never seen him play but I seriously doubt that he would have become a pro in Germany as he was already 23 when he went to the US (by that age you basically need to be at a professional club already, otherwise you'll never be).

Good info, I think I know who you are talking about.

So if he was on the fifth level, chances are he was no higher than the Oberliga, which is most certainly amateur, and possible the Landesliga (even more amateur apparently).

So he was a decent amateur player, but not good enough to go pro there.
But he came to the US (the school he went to was Division Two, the second tier of American college soccer/football) and apparently dominated the competition(all-american awards, got drafted, etc).
So it would appear plausible to say that the level of talent in American second division (and probably parts of the first division) college soccer is not too disparate with talent in German 5th tier(amateur) football.

The USL-Pro grabs most of its talent from that level of American college soccer (the better players on America's first tier division one teams end up in the MLS or the NASL). So one could reasonably conclude that the USL-Pro really is a realistic option for a good amateur player in Germany(or England, France, etc) in the fifth division or so.

If you're that a guy in that situation, perhaps it may be worth a try out if you can get some film over to a USL team. Even better, if you're still young enough you can go on exchange to an American college in division 2 or lower division one, dominate, and get drafted. These strategies actually do appear doable and perhaps are worth it if you want to see the US.

You lose money chasing women, but you never lose women chasing money.
06-06-2011 01:08 AM
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Excelsior Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
(06-05-2011 10:20 PM)Sonsowey Wrote:  I have a friend playing pro football (american football) in Israel. He gets paid a livable salary, but not any more than you would expect from having a decent job. I don't think he's famous at all.

Can you elaborate a little more on this(the league for example, more detail on compensation, where he played in college, etc)? I'm intrigued.

You lose money chasing women, but you never lose women chasing money.
(This post was last modified: 06-06-2011 01:09 AM by Excelsior.)
06-06-2011 01:09 AM
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Seven11 Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
I'm definitely interested in the Basketballs leagues abroad. Someone who isn't NBA material but could play at the NCAA level would they be considered an important player in foreign leagues?
06-09-2011 06:38 PM
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Excelsior Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
(06-09-2011 06:38 PM)Seven11 Wrote:  I'm definitely interested in the Basketballs leagues abroad. Someone who isn't NBA material but could play at the NCAA level would they be considered an important player in foreign leagues?

You're in luck, I was just about to start talking about these. This will be a pretty long post, as international basketball compensation is a complicated topic.

So we'll begin with the largest of the world's league, the NBA.

http://hoopshype.com/salaries.htm

Pretty much every salary for every player in the NBA right now can be found there.

Now for foreign leagues, starting with France.

France: http://ilovebasket.com/index.php?2010/01...agnent-ils

(Link is in French).

Salaries are as follows:

Pro A(Premier Basketball Division) average salary per month (number of players)
Foreigners: €11,888 (69)
FIBA players: €10,979 (9)
Players from Cotonou nations: €8,617 (24)
French: €7,498 (86)

Pro B(French Second Division) average salary per month (number of players)
From other FIBA nations: €5441 (9)
Foreigners: €5,128 (36)
Players from Cotonou nations: €4,760 (14)
French: €3,159 (114)

So, the average foreigner in the French top flight basketball leagues(usually an American who played NCAA D1 and was maybe in an NBA camp or two) is going to make north of $125k(American Dollars). Pretty much everyone else is also north of $100k on average. Cut that in half for the players in the second division who still seem to be making a pretty decent living. A star american(usually a guy with some years of NBA or other Euroleague experience) in the top league can likely hit the seven figure range.

Overall, not a bad gig if you can get it. These guys are good players, though, so unless you have a solid college pedigree and some serious athlticism, getting in here might not be doable.

The Philippines: Surprised to see this country here? Believe it or not, the Philippines is one of the more basketball-crazed nations on Earth. It is by far their most popular game.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_...ssociation

The PBA is their main pro league. The very best players in this league make approximately Php350,000 per month, which is about $7000-7500(American). If you include the bonuses they also get, the best players in the PBA are just north of $100,000 (excluding sponsorship pay for some of them and a crapload of other perks). A rotation guy/role player makes around $10-13,000 per year which, if you know anything about the PI or have been to the country, is actually pretty livable(above average, even). A decent bench player can double that (roughly Php100,000, or just north of $20k a year).

Rookies are on a scale that goes something like this:

Year 1: Php150,000 maximum salary
Year 2: Php225,000 max
Year 3: Php 350,000 (leaguewide maximum)

The PBA strictly limits foreigner participation. Most of the Americans you see over there are what they call "Fil-Ams", Filipino Americans(usually at least one Filipino parent). Fil-Ams who played in America's NCAA Division 1 for college are the most prized.

Poland:
http://www.wbj.pl/article-19951-polish-b...agues.html

Quote:"I never wanted to play in Europe," Upshaw said, explaining that as a Chicago kid he dreamt only of playing for the NBA. But Europe offered an opportunity, and an average player can actually make more money on this side of the Atlantic than playing for the NBA.
If I make $100,000 per year here it's like having a job for $150,000 in the United States because of the low cost of living and taxes, Upshaw said.
Foreigners are not the only ones cashing in on the game, though. The best Polish players get about $11,000-$12,000 per month, according to Wieslaw Zych, president of the Polish Basketball League. And a team like first-place Wroclaw is paying the best money in Poland, offering as much as $20,000 per month to some players.
Top salaries like these, though, eat up most of Wroclaw's approximately $2.5 million-$3 million annual budget, according to Zych. Between 65-80% of Wroclaw's budget goes to paying players and coaches, according to Grzegorz Schetyna, president of Zepter Slask Wroclaw. The remainder goes to referees, gym rental and promotions.

This article is from 1999, so chances are that salaries have gone up at least a little.

Germany:

http://www.in-the-game.org/?p=3450
Quote:Multimillion-Dollar-contracts are unheard of, the very top inside players are rumored to have landed rare contracts for something around USD 500.000 but it’s way more likely that a Bundesliga allstar player is good for 200k or 300k € at the top. Usually German NT-Players are on the expensive side as there are few who are able to compete in the league and even less clubs willing to sign them for decent salaries.

Managers often refer to a lottery phenomenon in the league: Who’s the team that signs most surprises, i.e. overperforming rookies out of college. The rumored salary for those players is as low as 2000 USD net per month. It sounds resonable considering the low budgets of some clubs. A prominent starter like Derek Raivio earned something just short of 100k USD in his rookie seasons with Cologne 99ers who had a serious 2-3 million € budget at that time.

More facts about the German leagues here:
http://germanhoops.wordpress.com/league-facts/

Israel: From an article about Jeremy Tyler, an American who went to play pro there straight out of high school.

Quote:Tyler signed a one-year, $140,000 contract with Maccabi Haifa in August. He was the first American-born player to leave high school early to play professionally overseas. Some had seen him as a potential No. 1 pick overall when he's eligible for the NBA draft in 2011.

That's pretty much what a decent American player can expect to get in Israel-low six figures, perhaps just north of $300-400k if he's a good starter at a big club like Haifa. I have heard reports of at least a couple players there in the seven figure range on top teams.

Spain: A junior player can expect at least $100,000 on an ACB(top league) team. A good starter can expect to hit the seven figure range. Stars can make several million dollars.
If you checked the earlier interbasket link, you'll see several spanish-league players amongst the top 30 highest paid in Europe(as of 2010).
An american player in a lower league(say the 3rd division) can possibly hit $60-70k a year.

Spain is generally agree to have the most competitive league in Europe with the best quality.

Italy, Greece, Turkey: Pretty much the same deal as Spain. a good starter can expect to earn north of $15,000 monthly, with elite players hitting the seven figure range.

Turkey's pay is just slightly lower than the others. Iverson signed a two year, $4 Million(that is a post-tax figure) contract with a Turkish club. This particular club is in Turkey's top national league and is one of the larger/wealthier ones there(though not the most successful), but internationally it competes in the Eurocup, which is the second-tier of European international league competition. The Euroleague is the first tier.

General Euroleague/Eurocup: This is the part that kind of makes international basketball compensation a little tough to wrap your mind around. So, you had the league salaries I gave you earlier for different countries in Europe(France, Spain, etc), but you also have international leagues in Europe where the better teams from each country compete against one another. The Euroleague is where you'll find good players making $5million+. The Eurocup is where you'll find good players making about half that much(like Iverson at around $2 Million yearly).

Some more detail about the intricacies of the system can be found here. Click on the leagues to see which teams are in them:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_pr...all_system

Here is a link detailing some of the salaries for Euroleague and Eurocup teams. It also lists the 30 best paid players overall, and some of the teams have their salaries listed as well.

http://www.talkbasket.net/salaries.html
And here's another decent salary database:
http://www.in-the-game.org/?page_id=1322

These teams all compete in their domestic leagues as well, but they sometimes pay higher salaries than some of the other teams in their domestic leagues who can't hit the Euroleague or Eurocup.

You can still get a general sense of the compensation in domestic leagues from these bigger teams, however. If Besitkas (Iverson's teams, part of Turkish league but competes in Eurocup) pays its top players around $2 million, you can probably expect a top player for a much smaller team in that league to be making at least around half a million or more, with more middling teams paying $1 million or so.

Bottomline: If you can make a Eurocup and especially a Euroleague team, you'll probably be making very good money. If you make a non-Euroleauge/Eurocup team in Spain, Italy, Greece, or France, you can probably still hit the six figures easily. If you're a good american in the second/third divisions in one of these countries, you can still touch $65k+. and in all of these situation/leagues/teams, a player can expect housing and a car to be provided as part of compensation(perks, I guess).

Anyway, that's about all I could find. For a good NCAA D1(and maybe a few elite D2 or D3 players), Europe is a good option for basketball should the NBA fail to pan out. and if you've got a Filipino parent, the PBA might be fun too.

You lose money chasing women, but you never lose women chasing money.
06-10-2011 06:38 PM
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Excelsior Offline
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RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
Continuing on the basketball thing...

China:

http://www.nbainchina.com/chinese-basket...alary-cap/

Quote:The new salary cap will limit foreign players to make no more than 30,000 dollars per month, and the total that teams may spend on foreigners per month will be limited to 60,000 dollars per month. There is already a quota of two players that CBA teams are facing on the number of foreign players allowed.

The cap doesn’t stop there, Chinese club players will have their yearly income cap set at no more than 300,000 yuan ($44,000). Chinese media Xinhua reports that the average annual income of the CBA players and coaches is 500,000 RMB. The new cap is also applicable to the national team where the players and coaches can’t earn more than 1 million yuan ($146,000) per annum. Players who have played in the NBA will be exempt from this rule, but they will still count towards the total cap of a team that is 55 per cent of the total annual income of the club, which is no less than 5.5 million RMB (about 820,000 U.S. dollars).

So a good American player in China can make up to $360,000+(probably excluding home, car, bonuses, etc). Chinese players make around $44,000(good income in China as a local). The average yearly salary in the league for players and coaches in about $77,000 at today's exchange rates.

You lose money chasing women, but you never lose women chasing money.
(This post was last modified: 06-12-2011 01:43 AM by Excelsior.)
06-12-2011 01:42 AM
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Mr.GM Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Pro sports... in countries that are not known for the sport
(06-09-2011 06:38 PM)Seven11 Wrote:  I'm definitely interested in the Basketballs leagues abroad. Someone who isn't NBA material but could play at the NCAA level would they be considered an important player in foreign leagues?

In Brazil, easily.

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06-12-2011 09:26 AM
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