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Pictures | Wed Feb 12, 2014 | 5:10am IST

Sicily's migrant soccer squad

<p>Like many young men in Italy, these amateur soccer players in the small Sicilian town of Mineo dream of stardom on the field. But for this group, having made it this far is already an achievement. ASD Mineo, as their squad is called, is made up of African migrants who risked their lives to cross the Mediterranean in hopes of finding asylum, a journey that has killed many others in shipwrecks January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

Like many young men in Italy, these amateur soccer players in the small Sicilian town of Mineo dream of stardom on the field. But for this group, having made it this far is already an achievement. ASD Mineo, as their squad is called, is made up of...more

Like many young men in Italy, these amateur soccer players in the small Sicilian town of Mineo dream of stardom on the field. But for this group, having made it this far is already an achievement. ASD Mineo, as their squad is called, is made up of African migrants who risked their lives to cross the Mediterranean in hopes of finding asylum, a journey that has killed many others in shipwrecks January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>Nineteen-year-old Mohammad from Togo is a defensive player for ASD Mineo and sports a similar Mohawk haircut to the AC Milan star Balotelli. "In my village some people called me Balotelli, and then when I arrived in Italy they started calling me Balotelli," he said January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

Nineteen-year-old Mohammad from Togo is a defensive player for ASD Mineo and sports a similar Mohawk haircut to the AC Milan star Balotelli. "In my village some people called me Balotelli, and then when I arrived in Italy they started calling me...more

Nineteen-year-old Mohammad from Togo is a defensive player for ASD Mineo and sports a similar Mohawk haircut to the AC Milan star Balotelli. "In my village some people called me Balotelli, and then when I arrived in Italy they started calling me Balotelli," he said January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>A soccer player walks down the street with one of the team's supporters before their Sunday match January 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

A soccer player walks down the street with one of the team's supporters before their Sunday match January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

A soccer player walks down the street with one of the team's supporters before their Sunday match January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>Migrants play in the Mineo immigration centre January 27, 2014.  REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

Migrants play in the Mineo immigration centre January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Migrants play in the Mineo immigration centre January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>Mohammad of Togo (R) and Abdullahi from Ghana spend time in their room in the shelter January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

Mohammad of Togo (R) and Abdullahi from Ghana spend time in their room in the shelter January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Mohammad of Togo (R) and Abdullahi from Ghana spend time in their room in the shelter January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>The team members get food in the centre's canteen before heading off to their Sunday match January 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

The team members get food in the centre's canteen before heading off to their Sunday match January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

The team members get food in the centre's canteen before heading off to their Sunday match January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>Team members take pictures of one another in front of a poster advertising one of their games at the centre January 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

Team members take pictures of one another in front of a poster advertising one of their games at the centre January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Team members take pictures of one another in front of a poster advertising one of their games at the centre January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>Members of the soccer team chat in front of a mural of the island of Sicily January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

Members of the soccer team chat in front of a mural of the island of Sicily January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Members of the soccer team chat in front of a mural of the island of Sicily January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>The team travels to their game January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

The team travels to their game January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

The team travels to their game January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>Muslim players kneel for late-afternoon prayers before their game, beside a ceramic statue of St. Agrippa, patron saint of Mineo village January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

Muslim players kneel for late-afternoon prayers before their game, beside a ceramic statue of St. Agrippa, patron saint of Mineo village January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Muslim players kneel for late-afternoon prayers before their game, beside a ceramic statue of St. Agrippa, patron saint of Mineo village January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>The players listen to their coach Giuseppe Manzella, shown gesturing in the changing room January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

The players listen to their coach Giuseppe Manzella, shown gesturing in the changing room January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

The players listen to their coach Giuseppe Manzella, shown gesturing in the changing room January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>ASD Mineo plays against rival team Massiminiana January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

ASD Mineo plays against rival team Massiminiana January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

ASD Mineo plays against rival team Massiminiana January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>The Mineo players celebrate after scoring a goal, as the Massiminiana goalkeeper looks on January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

The Mineo players celebrate after scoring a goal, as the Massiminiana goalkeeper looks on January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

The Mineo players celebrate after scoring a goal, as the Massiminiana goalkeeper looks on January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>Supporters of ASD Mineo cheer after a goal January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

Supporters of ASD Mineo cheer after a goal January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Supporters of ASD Mineo cheer after a goal January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>Team members celebrate after scoring a goal January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

Team members celebrate after scoring a goal January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Team members celebrate after scoring a goal January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>Both teams celebrate after their match ends January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>

Both teams celebrate after their match ends January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Both teams celebrate after their match ends January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

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<p>The immigration centre is one of Europe's largest such shelters, hosting some 4,000 migrants from 40 nations January 25, 2014.</p>

The immigration centre is one of Europe's largest such shelters, hosting some 4,000 migrants from 40 nations January 25, 2014.

The immigration centre is one of Europe's largest such shelters, hosting some 4,000 migrants from 40 nations January 25, 2014.

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