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Love for Soccer

Photographer: Kim Ludbrook

 

Whilst Africa's biggest soccer stars are playing for their countries in the 2012 African Cup of Nations that started 21 January, young soccer enthusiasts are pursuing their sport with extra zeal.

 

Following the huge success of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup in South Africa, hundreds of young boys take to the streets and dirt fields in the middle of Johannesburg's oldest and poorest shanty town, Alexandra, every afternoon after school to play their favorite game.

 

Often players must warm up next to open refuse areas where trash is burned. Across the middle of the main dirt soccer field runs a path that people take to walk or cycle back from work and school. Despite the lack of funding, proper boots and good balls, the enthusiasm of the young players remains high.

 

Emerging from the tiny alleys running between the shacks these lovers of 'The Beautiful Game', as soccer is often referred to, put their day-to-day hardships behind them by kicking old leather balls around.