Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

France: The World Cup’s Last Standing ‘African’ Team

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Kylian Mbappe, the 19-year-old forward of Cameroonian and Algerian descent, has taken the 2018 World Cup by storm. With his exceptional skills, he has become a key player for France, scoring crucial goals and igniting discussions about his skyrocketing career. But Mbappe is not the only player of African ancestry on the French team. In fact, this French squad is as much African as it is French.

A Team Rooted in African Ancestry

France’s roster for the 2018 World Cup is stacked with players of African descent. Twelve out of the 23 players called up to represent France in Russia have African roots, representing nine different nations across the continent. From the solid defense of Samuel Umtiti and Adil Rami, hailing from Cameroon and Morocco respectively, to the dynamic midfield presence of Paul Pogba, whose parents are from Guinea, African ancestry runs deep in this French team.

Proudly Representing Africa

Not only do these players bring immense talent and skill to the field, but they also represent a powerful connection between France and Africa. The French team’s distinct Africanness is becoming increasingly significant in a moment when racist populism is on the rise. As the only team remaining in the World Cup with such strong African ties, France is capturing the attention and admiration of African fans around the world.

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The Significance of Identity

France’s diverse team composition reflects the country’s complex relationship with identity and assimilation. In the past, players like Karim Benzema and others have spoken out about the challenges they face as individuals with dual cultural backgrounds. The pressure to conform to a singular French identity often clashes with their pride in their African heritage. The World Cup serves as a temporary bridge, allowing these players to excel on the pitch regardless of their cultural backgrounds.

Embracing Diversity on the World Stage

Football has the power to unite people and transcend cultural boundaries. In a country where xenophobia and racism persist, the success of the French team brings hope and optimism. As the world watches France’s African players shine, it is a reminder of the beauty and power of diversity in sport.

FAQs

Q: How many African players are in the French team for the 2018 World Cup?
A: Twelve out of the 23 players selected for the French team have African ancestry.

Q: Which African countries are represented by the French players?
A: The players in the French team have roots in nine different African nations, including Cameroon, Morocco, Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Algeria, Congo, and Angola.

Q: How does the French team’s African heritage relate to the issue of assimilation in France?
A: The success of France’s African players highlights the ongoing challenges of assimilation and identity in the country. They face pressure to conform to a singular French identity while also celebrating their African heritage.

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Conclusion

France’s journey in the 2018 World Cup goes beyond football. With a team that proudly represents both France and Africa, they are breaking barriers and challenging the narratives surrounding identity and assimilation. As the last standing ‘African’ team in the tournament, France is capturing the world’s attention and showcasing the power of diversity in sport.

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