Immigrant Players in the National Football Team of Germany and the Question of National Identity

Ahmet Görgen
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal of Liberty and International Affairs
Issue Number
Publication Date
January 2021
Institute for Research and European Studies (IRES)
This paper is based on the research related to the immigrant players in the national football team and the formation of national identity in Germany. Recent analyses reveal that the success of an immigrant player in the national sports team has been regarded as a useful factor to attract public attention to the contribution of immigrants to the progress of the country. During the matches, discourses coming from the fans depending on the result of the game. They target immigrant players as a scapegoat in the situation of loss. Indeed, this is visible in parallel with the increasing strong critics in the media against these immigrant players. In this paper, the case of Mesut Özil in the German National Football Team is analyzed. The case study offers evidence of whether the success of immigrant players has been an important factor for their inclusion in the national identity in Germany.
Nationalism, Immigration, Sports, Identity
Political Geography