From refugee to Australia’s leader in games, Deng: ‘A privilege’

Born in Kenya to South Sudanese parents, Thomas Deng is the leader of the Australian Olympics in Tokyo 2020: “I can give hope.”

The Olympic Football Tournament continues to offer surprises and surprises. to Tokyo 2020 In fact, after France’s defeat to Mexico and Spain’s draw with Egypt, another great player started with the wrong foot:Argentina.

L ‘Albiceleste In fact it was defeated 2-0 by منAustralia In his first match in Group C. Among the champions of the challenge that took place in Sapporo Dome also Thomas Ding, or the captain of the “Socceroos”.

The road that led him to the Olympics was long and arduous. born to parents Sudan del Sud, in a refugee camp in Nairobi, Kenya, he moved to Australia with his family at the age of six.

So it’s the long story of a boy who arrived in Australia as a refugee and is today the captain of a team that got the Olympic pass he’s been chasing since 2008.

“For me it is a privilege, there are not many people who can say that they have participated in the Olympic Games. It is something to be proud of and it is also a source of pride to wear the captain’s armband. For me as a kid, playing in the national team was a dream and now here I am.”

Thomas’ brother Peter also plays football but chose to represent South Sudan.

“When you turn back the clock and think about how many things have happened, you know it’s all crazy. I represent my community and there are many children who will probably look at me as a role model. They will probably aspire to follow in my footsteps. I am of South Sudanese and Australian descent. Also, this gives children hope that dreams can come true.”

Deng, 24, having made his first steps as a footballer in Australia, also played in the Netherlands in the second team from Eindhoven and now plays in Urawa Reds in Japan.

Earl Warner

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