Free agency isn't a destination for European footballers in the same way as their American counterparts in baseball, basketball, or the NFL, where reaching the end of one's playing contract is often seen as an accomplishment rather than a last resort. With North American athletes frequently trapped by the confines of collectively bargained contracts earlier in their careers—where their pay is quite often well below their actual market value—your average shortstop, shooting guard, or running back may have to wait five years or more before they can truly bargain for a deal commensurate with their talents.

Not limited by such strictures, European footballers are free to negotiate their own contracts/salaries earlier in their career, so the end of one's contract isn't quite the same winning lottery ticket as it is for their colleagues in MLB, the NBA, or the NFL.

Nevertheless, Europe sees more than its fair share of Bosman transactions each summer, where players are free to pick and choose their next club free from the restraints of transfer fees and inter-club negotiations.