I recently watched the movie, Messi, on Amazon Prime. I had not seen that style of documentary before.
I recommend it.
Seeing how Messi was discovered made me wonder what the chances are Messi’s to be discovered in a pay-to-play model.
I think lower.
Sports clubs like Messi’s first club, Newell’s Old Boys, which was his first step in discovery, do not exist in pay-to-play.
If I’m reading the Newell’s Old Boys website and doing my exchange rates, correctly, belonging to the club costs about $7 per month for a youth and $10/month for an adult.
It looks like these fees grant access to all sorts of sports and facilities, not just soccer.
That type of club is like an amalgamation of a professional team, college team, high school team, youth sports club, rec center and social club.
Even the cheapest soccer clubs in pay-to-play cost about 10x that amount and you get one thing, soccer.