Football provides hope for migrants in Spain

Football in Spain creates a sense of belonging and purpose for players Credit:Naimul Rafin/fb

While the excitement of Euro 2024 captures the global spotlight, a different kind of football story unfolds in Spain. Here, on dusty pitches and local fields, the beautiful game serves as a lifeline for many migrants, particularly young asylum seekers.

Spain, a southern gateway to Europe, sees a steady influx of migrants each year. In 2023, nearly 57,000 individuals arrived, many fleeing hardships in South America and Africa. Among them were over 2,500 unaccompanied minors seeking refuge.

FC Darna, Barcelona

Football clubs across the country are stepping up to offer a sense of belonging and opportunity. FC Darna, a team founded in Barcelona, exemplifies this spirit. Starting in 2019 with limited resources and boundless enthusiasm, Darna (meaning “home” in Arabic) provides a space for young migrants, mostly from Morocco, to build identities and chase dreams. Their volunteer coach, Sergi Llamas, guides them towards their goal of promotion, proving football’s power to foster dreams alongside skills.

Los Dragones

Many young people, facing personal tragedy and hardship, find solace and purpose in football. The sport plays a vital part in migrant integration. Teams like Los Dragones, another club chosen for the Adidas Football Collective initiative, provide a platform for connection and community building. As these young migrants find their place on the pitch, they are also finding their way in their new homes.

This summer, while the world watches Euro 2024, remember the quiet games taking place across Spain. Here, football transcends the sport, offering hope and a chance to flourish for those who need it most.

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Written by

Trelawney Bresic

Trelawney is a journalist and screenwriter. She began her career at the Euro Weekly News twenty years ago and is passionate about honest and compelling journalism. If you have a news story, don't hestitate to get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com

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