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date: 20 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores how sport became intertwined with identity, politics, consumerism, and culture in Southern Europe to the extent that it is difficult to imagine modern Spain, Italy, Portugal, or Greece without it. The region houses some of the world’s most legendary football clubs and leagues, which have deep-rooted connections to the political, economic, and social histories of their cities, regions, and nations. Sports groups forged this audience within the region’s well-established cultures by connecting the activity to national, regional, and civic identities, often with the support of (or in opposition to) dictatorial or Fascist regimes. The region also boasts consistent involvement in international competitions, such as hosting six Olympic Games, highlighted by Greece’s Olympic heritage. Southern Europe’s sporting world continued to change in the last third of the twentieth century with the rise of Spanish sport and the growth of basketball throughout the region.

Keywords: Southern Europe, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, football, Fascism, basketball, Olympics

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