Mbappe-Kamavinga are scattered among the 28 World Cup teams
Cabinda is an enclave in the African country of Angola. Despite being rich in oil, people there do not have peace of mind. Because, the violence between the government and separatist groups has been going on for 27 years in this area bordering Congo. Bleeding and sneezing all the time. A large part of the residents there are internally displaced. Living in refugee camps run by UNHCR seems to be their destiny. Eduardo Camavinger was born in one such refugee camp.
When Kamavinga was 2, his family fled the camp with whatever clothes they had on hand in a raging civil war. Their destination is France. There began their unsullied life as a refugee.
18 years have passed since then. 20-year-old Kamavinga will play World Cup football for the first time on November 23 for his ‘host’ country, France, against Australia. This midfielder, one of the members of the Champions League winner Real Madrid, has already been recognized by the football world.
Many of Kamavinga’s French team-mates have similar stories. Despite being born in France, many of the immigrant footballers have gone to play for their native country, while some are playing for France. France is currently the biggest football exporter.
At least 37 footballers from Didier Deschamps’ country are playing for 9 countries in the World Cup in Qatar, according to proper FIFA rules. Where it is said, a footballer can change nationality if he has not played more than three matches for a country before the age of 21 and has not participated in a World Cup or continental tournament.
World Cup football is truly diverse. In the words of the poet, “Shak-hun-dal Pathan Mughal/Ek Dehe Hal Lin”. Just like the Germany team has French players, the Wales team has German players. Many of those playing for Wales were born in England. Another one of England’s most promising youngsters, Bukayo Saka, is of Nigerian origin.
Analyzing the birth chart of the players of the World Cup, it appears that footballers born in Africa are dancing all over the world. And the dominance of footballers born in France is especially visible in African teams.
Only four of Qatar’s 32 World Cup teams have all players from their home countries. They have no immigrant players. The countries are Argentina, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. Apart from this, about 150 footballers are playing for the remaining 28 teams, which may not be the country of their birth.
In this World Cup, 9 footballers of Senegal were born in France. Tunisia has 10 French players, while Cameroon has 8. Portugal also has France’s Sourav Rafael Guerrero, Germany has Armel Bella-Kachap, Spain’s Emeric Laporte and Qatar’s Karim Bouadief.
And more than 50 footballers, born in Africa or of African descent, play for 11 teams. There are 8 such players in Germany. Apart from this, if you look at the list of players from Netherlands, Belgium and Australia, it is easy to see that most of them come from Cameroon, Sudan, Ghana, Mali, Guinea Bissau, Angola, Nigeria, Congo, Ivory Coast and other African countries.
Almost all of these players have set foot in these developed countries as refugees. Let’s take Australian forward Garang Kuyol. His family hails from war-torn South Sudan. From there his family fled to Egypt. Garang was born there, in 2004. Then he went to Australia with his family as a refugee.
It is worth noting that Australia’s Garang’s two teammates, Thomas Deng and Our Mabil, are also from South Sudan. The color of pain is the same in all three stories.
To talk about the contribution of immigrant players, we have to keep our eyes on the 2018 World Cup. Young Turk Kylian Mbappe painted for France, his pulse is in Africa, Algerian and Cameroonian blood flows in his body. N’Golo Kante and bad boy Paul Pogba, who is missing this year’s World Cup in Qatar — both hail from Mali and Guinea.
How are they getting so much success? Soccer-Researchers say such success stems from the philosophy of turning the hardships of refugee life into the joys of the soccer field. Instead of being in a small room in a suffocating environment, they thought it was better to lie on the field with a football.
It turns out that the immigrant youth playing in the national team of a big country, their father or elder brother was also a footballer. These fathers and elder brothers have a special contribution to make them where they are today. Instead of taking his son to piano classes, he trained him on the football field. And in front of them were Zinedine Zidane and Karim Benzema as role models.
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