Soliana & Mohamed’s story

"Sport is healthy for your body and is the perfect way to meet new people."

Soliana is 18 years old. She fled Eritrea on her own just under 2 years ago. She lived in an asylum seekers’ centre for more than 1.5 years, but has recently moved into her own place in Amsterdam. She’s now fully committed to completing her integration course. She really wants to study psychology and has a dream for the future too; become a coach of a women’s football team.

Runner Mohamed Ali

Soliana recently met runner and Cruyff Foundation ambassador Mohamed Ali. Together they discussed the importance of sport and exercise for children who have fled their native countries.


A safe space to play sports and games is incredibly important for all children. Space for them to develop, space to make friends and space where they can improve both their physical and mental health. This unfortunately doesn’t happen as a matter of course for all children. And these are the children for whom the Cruyff Foundation supports and develops sports activities right across the world.

For example, we have Cruyff Courts in deprived areas, we train Cruyff Foundation coaches (Heroes), we support countless projects for children with disabilities and we stimulate sport for refugees through projects in refugee camps or asylum seekers’ centres. You’ll be supporting these activities by raising money for the 14K Cruyff Legacy.

Curious about Xavi and Devon’s stories? Then read them below.