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Quique Rubio | 05/09/2012
For some it is a necessity, others see it as a great opportunity, while many may view it as an adventure. Whatever the reason, in the last few years Spanish footballers have been packing their bags and moving abroad to play their football in faraway lands.
A practice which used to be anecdotal has become the norm. Right now 193 Spanish footballers are playing in foreign leagues around the world, and that's only counting those playing in the top flight.
It's clear that the fact that the Spanish league has lost its economic power is having a huge influence on players moving away from their home country.
Santi Cazorla, Javi Martínez and Borja Valero have been the most recent cases, leaving La Liga for the Bundesliga, the Premiership and Serie A respectively. In each of these leagues, teams have continued to invest money in purchasing new players, unlike in Spain, where this season clubs have invested a total of just 116 million euros in singings, compared to 661m euros in England, 380m euros in Italy and 241m euros in Germany.
The aforementioned are the most famous cases, but there are many more, lesser known players that have been forced to up sticks, owing to the economic crisis afflicting Spanish football, above all in the leagues below La Liga: La Segunda, Segunda B and La Tercera.
We're talking about players such as Antonio Reguero, who swapped the sun of Gandía, Valencia for the clouds of Scotland (Inverness Caledonian Thistle), and Marcos Gondra, who left Portugalete to play in Sweden.
These are players that, in many cases were at clubs with huge financial problems and looked favourably upon a move abroad, often to smaller clubs, but to clubs where they'd be guaranteed to receive their salary.
There are also players who leave Spain in search of an adventure, players who want to learn a new language, a new culture and have new experiences.
Without a doubt, Spain winning three international tournaments in three years have opened Spanish players to the world market. Outside of Spain, people associate Spanish football with La Roja, a team that in recent years have been seen as a synonym for success.
Not long ago, the same phenomenon was occurring with Brazilian footballers. But everything has changed, and now Spaniards must get used to seeing their players outside of Spain.