Introduction
in African football migration
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In keeping with our commitment to foregrounding the aspirations, experiences and trajectories of male African football migrants and to challenging tropes that depict them as helpless, passive victims of wider macro-structural currents both within the football industry and beyond, we turn much of the introductory chapter over to a ‘thick’ description of the personal biography of former Ghanaian football migrant Nii Odartey Lamptey. In particular, we focus on how the game featured in his youthful future-making imaginaries before outlining how he was able to enact transnational mobility. We account for his experiences as a football migrant, the routes and nodes he traversed and the nature of his encounters along the way, including those on his post-playing-career return to Ghana. Treated in isolation, his eventful career constitutes a fascinating insight into how professional migrant athletes produce and reproduce transnational mobility. However, the purpose of our exposition here is to contextualise and animate the core questions at the centre of this book.

African football migration

Aspirations, experiences and trajectories

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