by Helen ROWE
PARIS, France- They’ll never earn six figure salaries or be sporting heroes. They play in the rain and to empty stadiums. But amateur footballers — and their loyal fans — are every bit as passionate about the game as the professionals.
As the World Cup competition in Brazil gets into full swing and heads towards its final next month, non-professional players all over the world carry on turning out to play just for fun.
“They don’t have a dream to be the best player in the world. It’s not for money. But they play three nights a week because they love football,” French photographer Amelie Debray told AFP.
The Paris-based photographer saw their devotion first-hand when she set out to document the amateur game in South Africa and the Palestinian Territories for two books in 2010 and 2012.
Now, to mark the 2014 World Cup, giant copies of some of her images are being exhibited on the walls along the banks of Paris’s River Seine.