Guided by the resource-based theory, the purpose of this study was to predict the role of football talent in the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) rankings of the men’s national football teams in the Copa America zone.
The study used archival data of Copa American national football teams. The dependent variable was FIFA rankings, and the independent variables were football talent (measured by the stocks of amateur footballers, professional footballers and football officials). Statistical analysis was performed using Kendall tau statistic and binary logistic regression.
The binary logistic regression results indicated that FIFA rankings were statistically and significantly associated with the stock of football officials and professional footballers – but not amateur footballers. The predictive model explained 80 per cent of the variance.
The study focused exclusively on the stock of football talent in each nation, and not alternative determinants of national football team competitiveness as economic power and quality of professional football leagues, among others.
The stocks of professional footballers and football officials are valuable sources of competitive advantage (CA) in national football team rankings.
The study highlighted the uniqueness and distinctiveness of a nation possessing large stocks of professional footballers which can boost the CA and rankings of Copa American national football teams.
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