Footballers are sometimes described as spoilt, wealthy individuals. True, but many of the stars we admire on the green rectangle were not born wearing a tuxedo. Quite the opposite is true. In truth, many sportsmen suffered adversity during their childhood before breaking through. Let's have a look at a few examples.
Cristiano Ronaldo comes to mind when we think of a wealthy and successful athlete. Throughout his career, he has cultivated the image of the man with everything: talent, a flawless physique, money, machines, watches, and so on. He is regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time, with a multimillion-dollar 'lifetime' contract with Nike and a salary of $31 million.
CR7, on the other hand, hasn't always had it easy. When Cristiano was a child, he went to the pub to rescue his drunken father. A vice created out of a desire to forget the horrors of war, which led to his early death.
Another outstanding player of our day. Over the years, the Swede has been labeled a mercenary for his willingness to accept the biggest cash offer, pinning it more than others on appreciation for his club. This behavior, on the other hand, is most likely the result of Ibra's poverty in his early years.
He prayed that there would be food at home, as he recounted in his book, but this was not always the case. His strong mentality, on the other hand, assisted him in overcoming those moments and not succumbing to the ghetto in which he lived, eventually allowing him to emerge and become the magnificent athlete we have watched and continue to admire.
Let us now turn our attention to Arek Milik's team, Napoli. Although he has had to stop multiple times due to injury, the Pole has established himself as a top attacker at the foot of Vesuvius in recent years. Milik, on the other hand, went through a rough patch before breaking through thanks to his football talent.
As a child, the former Ajax was very close to his father, who died tragically young. Milik responded angrily to the loss, and for a time he was unable to recover, beginning to smoke and shoplift. Fortunately, he was able to realize that he couldn't go on like this and drew his head back.
Alexis Sanchez is another striker who had a tumultuous upbringing. The Chilean family, like that of the Belgian giant, could only afford a few things. There were no football boots among them, which Alexis desired.
Sanchez, on the other hand, refused to give up football, and his mother urged the mayor to give his son the shoes. The mayor of Tocopilla agreed, and Sanchez's career as a football player to place the Champions League on the bulletin board began as if it were a fairy tale.
From Chile to Argentina, where Carlitos Tevez, a former Italian footballer, was born and took his first steps. The former number 10 and Juventus driver is known as Apache, a moniker he is proud of and which has distinguished him well throughout his career.
He was given this nickname because, unlike the other youthful members of the illustrious Boca Juniors, he was born and nurtured in the violent Argentine neighborhood of Fuerte Apache.
Shootings frequently interrupted Tevez's football games with his pals when he was a kid, according to him. Despite this, he managed to stay out of trouble with the support of his uncles and succeed in football.
South America, Brazil, the world's best football country, has always produced outstanding athletes, many of whom were born into precarious circumstances. Neymar, the current number 10 and captain of the Seleçao, is one of them.
The PSG star was born in Mogi das Cruzes, an impoverished area of So Paulo, and is now one of the highest-paid footballers in the world. His father worked three jobs to put food on the table and pay the bills, but he frequently couldn't afford electricity. It's not an easy scenario for Neymar, who, on the other hand, has been blessed with incredible natural skill.
Few people are familiar with the Uruguayan's early years. In an interview, the former Liverpool midfielder stated that while food was not a problem in his home, everything else was. As a result, when he was 11 years old, he was compelled to work with his grandfather (mechanic). He, like Neymar and Messi, did not give up and continued to think about football, eventually arriving to play for Ajax and establishing himself as the best striker in the world.
The Croatian is one of, if not the greatest, most powerful midfielders in the world, but he had to work hard to win the most prestigious individual accolade. Lukita, as he is known in Madrid, in his youth, fled with his parents to the Balkan war, where his grandfather was one of the victims.
They sought safety in Zadar, where they stayed in a hotel and trained, occasionally shattering the hotel windows. Thankfully, he was recognized by a local team, who offered him the chance to shine, before going on to Dinamo Zagreb, Tottenham, and Real Madrid.