We Indians use a popular term called “Brain Drain” to describe a phenomenon about how talented minds left India to migrate to Western Hemisphere and made name for themselves. The reasons for migration is topic of separate post. But general consensus is they migrated due to lack opportunities. There are lot of such success stories. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google CEO, Pepsi CEO and MasterCard CEO are few great examples.

While India has “Brain Drain”, Africa has similar problem. For sake of simplicity let’s call it “Foot Drain”. This phenomenon is about how people from African countries have migrated to Europe and made name for themselves in world of Football (or as Americans call it Soccer).

This weekend, 4 teams are going to take part in concluding round of matches in 2018 World Cup. England and Belgium fight for 3rd and 4th place. France and Croatia would battle for tag of World Champion. Guess what all thset teams have “foot drain” representation!

15 of 23 members in France team (N’Golo Kante, Djibril Sidibe, Ousmane Dembele, Steve Mandanda, Steven Nzonzi, Prisnel Kimpembe, Kylian Mbappe, Samuel Umtiti, Paul Pogba, Nabil Fekir, Blaise Matuidi, Adil Rami, Thomas Lemar, Benjamin Mendy, Corentin Tolisso) have hereditary roots elsewhere. This is not limited to current world squad. French legend and 1998 World Cup star Zinedine Zidane is from Albanian background.

In this regard France is not alone. Belgium squad has Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, Youri Tielemans and Dedryck Boyata whose families migrated to Belgium.

Similarly, England squad has Raheem Sterling, Wilfred Zaha, Eric Dier, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Dele Alli, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harry Kane belong to families that came to UK.

World cup has brought this positive side of immigration when politicians world over are creating lot of noises about immigrants and refugees.

PS – This phenomenon is not limited to Football alone. In Cricket, lot of players from Indian origin have represented their adopted country at international level. England, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa squad have players who have roots to Indian subcontinent.

PPS – My thoughts on this topic are simple. I always support legal immigrants. Not so long ago, I was legal immigrant who was working in US. This helped me a lot to learn new things and shape my views about global aspects of today’s world. Having said that, I am not a fan of illegal immigrants. They don’t go through proper background checks and can cause law and order problems.


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