Success of Small Football Nations

Mathias Hørup Mauritzen & Ivan Ivic

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis studies the phenomenon of small but successful footballing countries who are able to compete and produce talent on the highest international levels. Countries with small populations are often marvelled during successful performances in sporting events. Therefore the driving forces behind these successes in the context of football will be researched.
The countries of Croatia, Uruguay and Belgium will be investigated through a case study approach. Each country will have its own individual case followed by analysis. Current literature, as well as other qualitative and quantitative data will be used in an attempt to explain the phenomena and gain insights in relation to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions at hand. Following each case country and analysis, will be a cross case analysis that identifies themes, patterns and similarities amongst each case country. Furthermore, primary data through the use of expert interviews from the field will be incorporated in the cross case analysis in order to corroborate and shed light on the findings that were prevalent amongst the case countries. Each country was found to have its own unique competencies pertaining to their success. In addition, similarities amongst the case countries were found to be present, which may suggest areas of improvement for other countries.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages141
SupervisorsSven Junghagen