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Karim and Yves trekked for years through Africa from Cameroon before arriving in Spain where they now play football and rugby, realizing a life-long ambition even if their daily lives are still a struggle.They're not the only ones to have stepped onto Spanish shores with dreams of making it big in the sporting world. Karim Issa Abdou and Yves Kepse Tchonang are arguably among the lucky ones.Karim now plays for Alma de Africa ("Heart and Soul of Africa" in English), a football team in southern Jerez de la Frontera composed almost exclusively of migrants in the second division of the regional league.Yves plays at front row at Rugby Club Valencia more than 700 kilometers away in eastern Spain, in the first division of the regional league.Born in a nomadic family in Ngaoundere in northern Cameroon, Karim says he left when he was only around 10 years old with a friend.He left Cameroon with his best friend, who later drowned in the water trying to get to Ceuta, another overseas Spanish territory, he says.His friend joins hundreds of migrants who have died trying to get to Spain, the third busiest gateway for migrants coming to Europe, with more than 28,000 arrivals in 2017, according to the International Organization for Migration.Karim is still waiting, and survives on odd jobs like gardening or washing cars.Both Yves and Karim would like to be paid as professionals.
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