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Africa's Influence on Euro 2024: Celebrating Cultural Diversity on the European Stage

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Ayize claire

Jul 6, 2024

Africa's Influence on Euro 2024: A Cultural Transformation.

From left to right: Jamal Musiala (Germany), Nico Williams (Spain), Noah Okafor (Switzerland), and Lamine Yamal (Spain). Their performances highlight the cultural fusion that is reshaping European football.

The late 1990s and early 2000s saw a significant immigration boom in Europe, leading to a more culturally diverse Euro 2024. As the tournament reaches the quarter-finals, the impact of players with African heritage is evident in many successful teams.


Kevin Danso: A Key Example

Kevin Danso, a 25-year-old defender for Austria, exemplifies this cultural blend. Born in Austria but raised in England by Ghanaian parents, Danso developed his football skills in the academies of Reading and MK Dons. Despite his multicultural upbringing, he remains deeply connected to his Ghanaian roots.


In June 2022, Danso visited Ghana for the first time, an experience that left a lasting impact.

“Austria is my home, but Ghana is my ancestral home,” he told BBC Sport Africa. “The culture, food, and people of Ghana make me who I am. I always support the national football team.”

Danso shares this cultural connection with fellow Austria international David Alaba, who has Nigerian heritage.

The two often engage in friendly debates, particularly over the Ghanaian-Nigerian jollof rice rivalry.

“He [Alaba] knows Ghana has the best jollof, but he will always argue with me,” Danso said.

Spain’s Dynamic Duo

Spain’s style of play has evolved from slow, patient possession football to a more dynamic approach, thanks in part to Nico Williams and Lamine Yamal, wingers of Ghanaian and Moroccan-Equatoguinean descent.

Nico and his brother Inaki, both born in Spain to Ghanaian immigrants, have chosen different international paths.


While Inaki represents Ghana, Nico has become one of Spain’s standout players in his second major tournament. This mirrors the split of the Boateng brothers, Jerome and Kevin-Prince, who represented Germany and Ghana respectively in the 2010s.


Euro 2024 highlights the significant influence of African heritage on European football. Players like Kevin Danso and Nico Williams bring not only their skills but also a rich cultural diversity that enriches the tournament. As Europe becomes increasingly multicultural, the impact of African heritage on football continues to grow, shaping the future of the sport.

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