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Juan Alberto Schiaffino of Uruguay score in the 66th minute of the infamous 'Maracanazo' match
Faraway dreams in Sardinia
Nicola Pinna

ORISTANO — Club scouts and retired players from across Italy have come to this town on the Italian island of Sardinia to find new soccer talent among recently arrived African migrants. They offer their services to the migrants so that one day they might have a shot at Italy's top professional league, the Serie A. These young men, who live in reception centers across the island, hope to follow their dreams. But they also seek something far simpler: a salary and a chance to live in their adopted country.

Some of the players came to the trials in Oristano wearing flip-flops, so the organizers give them shoes and cleats. Unfortunately for 25-year-old Ahmed Ayoub, there weren't any in his size.

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In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 126: Russia Watching NATO, As Path Cleared For Finland And Sweden To Join

As NATO leaders meet in Madrid, Finland and Sweden look much closer to joining the alliance after Turkey dropped its objections to their membership. It's yet another momentous change underway since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

International leaders after having their photograph taken before the start of the NATO 2022

Anna Akage, Shaun Lavelle, and Emma Albright

A high-stakes NATO summit has kicked off in Madrid, as leaders of the world’s largest defense alliance discuss the war in Ukraine and key decisions that will shape the organization’s future direction. NATO Secretary-GeneralJens Stoltenberg said the Russian invasion of its neighbor had prompted a fundamental shift in its approach to defense.

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Finland and Sweden look much closer to joining the alliance after Turkey dropped its objections to their membership. The three countries released a joint memorandum that “extend[ed] their full support against threats to each other's security," FinnishPresident Sauli Niinistö said.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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