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Top 7 World Footballers Who Grew Up Poor



The beautiful game of football is known to be one of the most watched game, the game itself is an expression of collective team culture and individuality.Poverty is undoubtedly tragic in nature but football has been a tool to curb much-underprivileged ones to improve their financial circumstances, now we take a look at top 7  footballers who grew up poor.

7. Dani Alves

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Alves was born in Juazeiro a city in the Brazilian state of Bahia on may 5 1983, the former Barcelona star started playing football as a kid, no thanks to his father passion for the game and starting a club where Alves got his play in organised football. He started at the age of ten as a winger but his inability to score enough goals as a winger made his father to re-positioned him to a more suitable right back, a position he plays up to this day.

Destiny was written on the walls of his father’s home as it was learnt that Alves would go from wall to wall in the house practising on his signature, and bracing himself up for the day’s thousands of football admirers would come looking fo his autograph. He worked as a farmer assisting his father in picking melons in the fields of Bahia. His once distant dream of signing an autograph is now a clear reality over the the Old Lady right back is now a prominent figure in football.

6.Yaya Toure

Gnegneri Toure Yaya was born May 13, 1983, Yaya is an Ivorian footballer Who plays as a midfielder for Manchester City.

He had his first football boots at the age of 10, after having spent a year playing football with bare legs in the streets.“Boots were very expensive,” Toure told The Guardian in 2011. “And when there are seven in your family and you say you want to buy a pair your father wants to kill you.” But in the Manchester City midfielder’s own words: “I just had a normal African childhood. Life was a struggle when I was growing up.”

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Toure was an inspired striker during his youth days and sometimes plays as a centre back,he began his career t ASEC Mimosas an Ivorian club he plays for at the age of 18.before moving to Europe, having brief spell with Beveren, Metalurh Donetsk, Olympiacos, and AS Monaco, before the Catalan giant Fc Barcelona came for his signature in 2007.

The Ivorian international took up his opportunities as they came, as his now been regarded as one of the world’s best player.

5. Alexis Sanchez

Alejandro Alexis Sanchez was born in Tocopilla (Chile) on December 19, 1988,he plays for Cobreloa in his youth days where he also played alongside nationals teammates like Charles Aranguis and Eduardo Vargas,he was a boy determined to succeed in order to help improve his mother’s life,Alexis mother clean for schools just to make ends meet for the family as his father was out of the picture. “When she was cleaning in the school I hid because I didn’t like to see her there,” Alexis has said.

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The Ex-Barcelona star works in a local mine and also washed cars to help make extra income for his family while playing as a professional footballer. He made his international debut against New Zealand on April 27, 2006, and making almost 100 caps for the Chilean national side.

Had he not made a mark as a successful footballer Alexis Sanchez would likely have ended been a full-time miner.

4.Franck Ribery

Ribery was born in Boulogne-sur-ner (France)on April 7, 1983, a city known for the highest number of ghettos in France. He and his family had a fatal accident at the age of two, he suffered serious facial injuries that resulted in hundreds of stitches and left two long scars on his face

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He began his football career at the age of six where he plays for an amateur side FC Conti de Boulogne-sur-Mer. before joining Stade Brestios, Ribery works as a construction worker with his father a period he calls the “Learning Experience” and brief spells with Metz, Galatasaray before he signed for the German champions Bayern Munich.

However, Ribery still feels thankful for his ghetto upbringing, as he says he wouldn’t have ended been unemployed “You can’t forget your past” the France international proudly says.

3.Angel Di Maria

Di Maria was born in Rosario on February 14, 1988, he grew up in Pedriel (Mendoza)west of Argentina.At the age of four Di Maria joined Rosario Central, he made his debut on 14 December 2006 for Rosario game against Independiente.

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Buying football boots and keeping up with Di Maria’s Hyper-activeness was difficult for his parents, due to the low income the family earned, he helped his parents with works at a local coal yard along with his two sisters.

Di maria growing up in poverty has always given him the right sense of responsibilities, perspective other cash-spoiled footballers of today don’t have, living his dream and asked his father to stop working and bought a house for both his parents and sisters.

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic was born on October 3, 1981, to a Muslim father Šefik Ibrahimović who was an alcohol addict

He lanky player had the past that explains his deep mentality of “me against the world” things became difficult as his parent’s divorce just when he was 2-years old, he began playing at the age of six for Fc Malmo and was a regular for the hometown club. Ibrahimovic almost quit his football career at the age of 15 due to hardship, working at the docks in Malmo, but was convinced by his manager to never give up and continue playing.

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He once confessed that he was a frequent thief in his teenage years, living a ghetto life gave him no option. He famously said he had never seen any man with a collared shirt not until he was in secondary school, noting how the ghetto impression has had on him.

Zlatan plays for several clubs Malmo FF, Ajax, Juventus, Internazionale, Barcelona, Ac Milan, PSG before Joining Manchester United in the summer on a free transfer.

“Who would’ve thought the guy from Rosengard would become the captain of Sweden?” Zlatan says.

1.Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo was born in Santo Antonio, on February 5, 1985, he was the youngest child of Maria Dolores, a local cook and his father Jose Aveiro a municipal gardener.

The name Ronaldo was chosen after former U.S president Ronald Reagan who was his father favourite actor. Ronaldo played with Andorinha before playing for a local club Nacional, at the age of 12 he had a three-day trial with Portuguese side Sporting CP and was signed for a fee around£1,500.

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The three times World footballer of the year shared stories of his upbringing devoid playing toys and all, having to share room with three of his siblings and agreeing with his mother to stop his education in order to help him focus on his football career,he was also expelled from school for throwing a chair at his teacher,who he said had ” disrespect him”

Ronaldo came into limelight in 2013 after signing for Manchester United, a place was his dream was projected to the world, and ever since then, Ronaldo has been one of the best footballers in the world.

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