This Italian Soccer Team Is Made Up Entirely of Refugees
They traveled unimaginable distances in search of a better life. Now, one inspiring sports club is helping them achieve just that
Photos by Michele Cirillo
Some dreams take years of hard work to achieve. Others require long, dangerous journeys, by sea or over land. In Rome, the football club Liberi Nantes cultivates dreams of both kinds. Founded in 2007 as a response to racism within the Italian football world, it is the country’s first sports team formed entirely of refugees and asylum seekers, competing in the “Terza Categoria,” the ninth level of the Italian football league system. The goal is to offer participants the chance to engage with the country they are trying to call home, as well as to connect with others who have escaped similar situations of war, poverty and persecution, often risking their lives to get here.