The World Cup – a dream come true for immigrants.
It’s called the beautiful game.
And not only is it the most beautiful game – it also is the most popular game.
Soccer has more than four billion fans.
Cricket is next at 2.5 billion.
And baseball only has 500 million fans.
And the truly amazing and captivating thing about soccer is that anyone can play it.
Unlike a lot of other sports the cost of playing soccer is next to nothing, compared with hockey which costs almost a thousand dollars for the equipment.
And that is why soccer so popular all over the world.
And looking at the player’s roster during the current World Cup series one thing is evident – a lot of the players are from countries other than the ones they are playing from.
In fact, a lot of them are immigrants.
And for them soccer is the one thing in their lives that has elevated them beyond the immigrant status.
It has elevated them to star status.
Many of the European squads, draw heavily from immigrant communities — a testament not just to the multiculturalism of the societies they represent but also the courage and determination of migrants in Europe, achieving success in the face of adversity and pervasive discrimination.
Nowhere was this more evident than in St. Petersburg. Seventeen of France’s 23 players are children of first generation migrants. Half of the French and Belgian squads’ players trace their ancestry to Africa, a much higher percentage than the ratio of immigrants in either country. (England’s team, featuring stars of Jamaican birth and Nigerian descent among others, has also been hailed for its diversity.) And their impact was felt everywhere across the pitch on Tuesday night.