Since football was created back in the 19th century, plenty of South Americans have travelled from my continent to the rest of the world to pursue a career in football.

The spread of players to different countries has caused a considerable increase in Latin American footballers throughout Europe and their skills have been shown in leagues of different levels ranging from La Liga and the English Premier League to France’s Ligue 2, and Moldova’s second division.

We are everywhere, and specifically for Argentines, we are in 54 of 55 UEFA countries. Kosovo is the only one we’re absent from - for now!

Firstly, it is important to highlight the difference between Latin America and South America. Latin America refers to the countries whose background is mostly French, Spanish and Portuguese, for instance, Mexico, Suriname, Argentina or Brazil.

South America includes every country from the southern border of Panamá down to Argentina. For example, Colombia, Perú, Chile and Guyana.

If we only consider the top five leagues in Europe, more than 10% of the players are Latin American. From Tijuana in the north of Mexico to Tierra del Fuego in the south of Argentina. Every single country has at least one player in a different league.

It’s hardly an untapped market, yet there are dozens of ducks floating in the pool Celtic aren’t trying to hook.

I will give you three recent examples of players who were recently close to Celtic in terms of their playing. One of them might hurt a little, but it’s a fact…

Alfredo Morelos (Colombia): Born in a small town, he was sent on loan to HJK Helsinki in 2016. Two weeks after his arrival, he scored his first brace and after 30 games the club decided to sign him permanently in the most expensive transfer in the history of the Finnish club, for £500k.

Despite moving from one of the warmest places in South America to an extremely cold country like Finland he adapted seamlessly. As we know, Scotland was his subsequent move and he’s now Rangers’ top ever scorer in Europe.

Celtic Way: Alfredo Morelos in action for ColombiaAlfredo Morelos in action for Colombia

Alexis MacAllister (Argentina): Another club record, but this time for Brighton. The former Boca Juniors player was sold to the Seagulls after playing at Argentinos Juniors (Maradona´s first club) in the first and second divisions. Currently, Alexis, who’s only 22-years-old, is representing the country in the Olympics Games in Tokyo.

You might have assumed he and his brothers, Kevin and Frances, have Scottish descent and you’d be right. His ancestors hail from Fife but their dad Carlos has admitted he has no “real deep connection” to his roots. That's interesting but irrelevant to the point, if he was Alexis Lopez or Fernandes the sentiment would remain, although he is, relatively speaking, quite an expensive export at around £7m.

Miguel Almiron (Paraguay): The most expensive player in Newcastle United’s history who was named in 2013 as The Paraguayan Messi. He was a champion in his own country, before repeating the achievement in Argentina and then in the USA with Atlanta United, who paid £6m for him to prise him away from Lanus. He originates from one of the poorest areas in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay.

These are three successful examples outwith the elite European clubs and there are various reasons why teams look at the South American market. Let´s analyse it.

Firstly, I would say the difference of football style and originality is one of the main reasons. If you research the history of this sport, most of the players from my part of the world have learnt how to play football on the streets.

Football is for everyone, but the chance to reach the professional game in South America is harder than in a lot of European countries because of the context of many childhoods. When you need to choose between playing football or eating food then the game becomes sacrificed.

Argentina and Brazil are two countries with absolutely outstanding players where poverty, unfortunately, is a key point in their development. Maradona once said, “I grew up in a neighbourhood deprived of electricity and water” and Brazil’s Ronaldo, “No-one should be doomed to a life of poverty, whether by birth or as a consequence of war.”

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The relationship between this social and economic issue is completely linked to football because children dream of playing as a professional for many reasons and helping their families is definitely one of the biggest inspirations. This increases the need to play football as hard and as well as possible and try to develop the skills to earn a transfer to a bigger team so they can thank and care for their family.

But what happens when these skilled players reach the professional level in South America? That’s the moment when the rest of the teams in the world come to the table and therefore, the second point of my consideration of South America as a gold mine for clubs like Celtic.

Personally, I don´t think the economic and social context in this continent could be much better and, likewise, many of the semi-pro and professional players also desire to improve their situations.

If an Argentinian footballer is asked whether he wants to leave the country, most of them would love to depart to a new league.

Celtic Way: Paraguayan attacker Miguel AlmironParaguayan attacker Miguel Almiron

Teams outside Latin America can afford the majority of the wages demanded or requested by a player from this part of the world, of course it would be impossible for Celtic to sign the best player in the Brazilian league like Gabriel Jesus or Vinicius Junior, but instead of spending millions of pounds on players who barely play, such as Patrik Klimala, Boli-Bolingoli and Marian Shved, why not to explore new leagues?

I do believe South America is a great place to be pushing more aggressively into. Celtic will find those skilled players mentioned for smaller transfer fees.

UK restrictions for signing players can be a complicated issue to deal with. However, the importance of the competitions in South America has increased and matched those major tournaments in Europe.

For instance, nowadays the Champions League and Europa League both have the same level as the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana respectively and this makes everything easier for clubs when applying for a visa or work permit as part of the requirements needed. The same happens with the Brazilian and Argentinian leagues which are now in the same band (three) as Russia and the Scottish Premiership.

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Additionally, it´s important to highlight there is a huge percentage of South Americans with an EU passport - although the benefits of that have been somewhat scuppered by Brexit.

Adrián Sporle is a good example; the former Club Atlético Banfield (Argentina) left-back has German citizenship and he’s been playing for Dundee United since 2019 – the only Argentine in Scotland at the moment.

Lastly, I need to talk about a topic always used to tear down this idea of researching and shopping in South America: culture and weather.

I will use Zenit St Petersburg as an example. Of course, there are more teams but I have chosen them because of the huge link they have with Latin American leagues.

Wilmar Barrios left Boca Juniors for Russia after only 48 games and the Argentinian Sebastián Driussi (River Plate) did the same in 2016. Although the wages were considerably higher than what Celtic could afford, both players have extremely different backgrounds to the country they now work in but have decided to use their skills and experience to challenge themselves, become better players and earn the money they desire.

Generally speaking, South America is not a cold continent and it´s extremely weird to watch games under 0 degrees, but this is something absolutely common during the winter in Russia. Just imagine coming from Brazil, where the average temperature is between 22 and 26 degrees, and in a single breath you need to kick a ball under heavy snowfall.

Playing in differing weather conditions is maybe a shock to the system but I believe there is no way it can be used to question the motivation a Latin American player would have, to play in Scotland.

Look at Morelos, look at Claudio Caniggia. I wish I had green and white examples to bring you. Don’t let Rafael Scheidt, or Diego Laxalt’s part in a failing Celtic team, cloud your judgement.

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Of course, most of the boundaries in football are due to the culture, weather, and languages but the South American players have strengthened themselves because of the need to use football to make their life better.

It’s not a magic trick or a new idea to scout young players before they attract attention from the elite clubs. Celtic enjoy the 'buy small, sell big' strategy and many of these players perfectly fall into that circle.

Peruvian centre-back Luis Abram, 25, is now playing for Velez Sarsfield, who are currently top of the Argentine league, and enjoyed a strong Copa America with his country. A few years ago he played for Sporting Cristal in his home country before he took his stepping stone move to Velez for £500k. His next step will be Europe or Asia for a significantly higher amount.

From the same Peruvian club, FC Twente captured then 19-year-old defensive midfielder Renato Tapia on a free transfer seven-years-ago before he moved on to Feyenoord and now Celta Vigo. He’s valued at £20m and is a player I was desperate for Celtic to show an interest in when he was a teenager. I find it frustrating to see so little transfer activity in this vast pool of talent.

Celtic Way: Luis Abram grapples with Roberto Firmino during the Copa AmericaLuis Abram grapples with Roberto Firmino during the Copa America

Take a flight to Donetsk, Kiev, Moscow, Stockholm, Rotterdam, Sofia and many more and you’ll find an Argentine as well as copious other Latin Americans with European passports.

Latin American players have proved that they can play football in snow or in the Sahara desert, in countries where football isn’t entirely professional or in a completely new one such as South Africa.

They have settled down regardless of culture, the country itself or language. Isn't this the beauty of football?

In this technologically linked world, it's not too difficult to track and I'd implore Celtic to look more closely.

Seba Ongarelli is on Twitter at @sebaongarelli and runs the Argentina CSC (@Argentinaceltic) account.