Salie lives in Paris. Back home on the Senegalese island of Niodior, her football-crazy brother, Madicke, counts on her to get him to France, the promised land where foreign footballers become world famous. Given his illusions, how can Salie explain to him the grim reality of life as an immigrant?
The story of Salie and Madicke highlights the painful situation of those who emigrate. Others who feel this pain include Ndetare, the Marxist schoolteacher and football coach, exiled to Niodior by the government but never accepted by those born there. Then there's the legendary beauty Sankele, his former lover, whose only way out of an arranged marriage ends in tragedy. And poor Moussa, whose dreams look set to come true when he's scouted by a big French football club, but which fall apart when he doesn't make the team.