African Football Migration: Aspirations, Experiences and Trajectories

Paul Darby, James Esson, Christian Ungruhe

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Africans have long graced football fields around the world. The success of icons such as Samuel Eto'o, Didier Drogba and Mohamed Salah has fueled the migratory projects of countless male youth across the continent. Using over a decade of ethnographic research, African football migration traces the historical, geographical and regulatory features of this migratory process.While a fortunate few do forge a successful career overseas, the book reveals how the vast majority experience involuntary immobility. Meanwhile others who are able to 'go outside' encounter truncated careers at the margins of the industry followed by precarious post-playing career lives. In unpacking these issues, African football migration offers fresh perspectives on the transnational strategies deployed by youth and young men striving to improve their life chances in post-colonial Africa, and the role that mobility, imagined and enacted, plays in these struggles.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages312
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5261-2029-8
ISBN (Print)I978-1-5261-2026-7
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Jan 2022

Publication series

NameGlobalizing Sport Studies


  • Africa
  • Football
  • Migration
  • Mobility
  • African Youth
  • Transnationalism


Dive into the research topics of 'African Football Migration: Aspirations, Experiences and Trajectories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this