Continuing our look at scouting, we move away from the US and across the Atlantic. But not to Europe. In this episode, we’re headed to Africa to take a look at a MASSIVE scouting effort that spanned the entire continent and was headed by the same scout credited for developing Lionel Messi. With the 2022 World Cup only 3 1/2 years away, you might find it interesting that this scouting effort was sponsored by none other than the controversial hosts of that tournament, Qatar.
The whole thing is chronicled in Sebastian Abbot’s book, The Away Game. The book begins on a dock in the war-torn Niger River delta, with soccer scouts being transferred between armed factions. It then follows several players from Africa to Qatar and then on to their professional careers.
It’s a fascinating and compelling story that I just had to hear more about. Last year, my brother-in-law, Tristan Vick, and I interviewed Sebastian Abbot, to learn more about this scouting effort and the controversies that surround it.
Plus! Stay tuned at the end for a surprising update from Sebastian on some of the personalities in his book!
Get the book, here!