Adele Muscat, Mark Nesti, David Richardson, Martin Littlewood
Football player migration has increased over the past years; however, players have reported experiencing a range of challenges during migration (Richardson, Nesti, Littlewood & Benstead, 2012). Twelve male footballers (aged 11-38) that made the migratory transition from the small island of Malta to a European professional football league were interviewed. Results indicated that players from this small nation characterised by a sheltered upbringing experienced more extreme challenges than players from bigger nations. These challenges included living alone abroad and trying to establish an identity within the highly pressurized environment of professional football. The findings suggest a need for practitioners in professional football to adequately prepare players for a potential migration to stronger European leagues. The receiving environment must also understand the culture from where the player is coming from and provide support to the migrant player to facilitate adaptive acculturation (Ryba, Schinke, Stambulova & Elbe, 2018).
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