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Top 7 World Footballers Who Grew Up Poor



Top 7 World Footballers Who Grew Up Poor 1

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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3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere



3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.

The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.

Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues

  • Paulinho

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.

Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.

They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.

He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.

The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.

In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.

Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.

Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”

  • Iago Aspas

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.

After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.

At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.

In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.

READ ALSO: 10 Premier League Players With Most Own Goals

  • Diego Forlan

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.

Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.

Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.

In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.

The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.

With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.

Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.

Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.



There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.

These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.




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Top 10 Football Dribblers Of All Time




Top 10 Football Dribblers Of All Time

The beautiful game of football is arguably the only sport that entertains its fans with the opportunity to witness a genuine instance of sheer genius with a series of beautiful nutmegs. The display of skills, footwork, eye-catching dribbles by different players makes the game more entertaining.

A lot of players around the world can dribble, go past a defender with a single flick and pace. However, good dribblers can be considered as one of the most important key players of a team, as they can unlock any kind of defense.

There are tons of Football dribblers, but only the best have made it onto the CheapGoals list.

10. Roberto Rivelino

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Rivelino’s magic with the ball was unbelievable, doing things nobody ever has or will do on a football pitch, and also had a quality of certainty about himself when he was on the ball.

He would not only wind past his opponents but also mortify them and smash defenders’ confidence. Sudden speeding up, various body bluffs would see him outfox defenders on numerous occasions, as some would say Garrincha made the ball talk to his feet.

9. Pelé

Other than being authoritatively one of the best footballers to ever graced the beautiful game and lived with three World Cup medals, this iconic Brazilian player was incredible at dribbling. Being able to control the ball in front of defenders and going past them with ease and confidence is something an aspiring footballer would dream of.

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8. George Best

Undoubtedly one of England’s greatest players, having scored 137 goals in 361 appearances for Manchester United in a career that spread over more than a decade for the Red Devils. He had the confidence to make use of the ball within and outside of his boot so well that he could cut around players quickly and easily.

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7. Ronaldo

De Lima is known for dribbling past defenders and after that going ahead to score a goal. only a few players have aced the popular ‘step over’ dribble as Ronaldo always proved to be a match-winner time over time with his solo dribbles.

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6. Johan Cruyff

One of Cruyff’s best abilities was that he had the ability to recognize any weakness and shortcoming in a defender. Like De-lima, he had a move named after him called “The Cruyff Turn”. It would appear as though he was passing the ball to a teammate but instead to kick the ball, he would turn 90 degrees and drag the ball within his foot behind his back leg. This sudden 90-degree move always left the opponent over to the cleaners.

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READ: Top Ten Female Football Players From 2005 Till 2017

5. Garrincha

Talking about football dribblers, Garrincha compared to Pele was generally viewed as the best dribbler ever. His extraordinary speed combined with his stunning ball control always leaves defenders powerless, and unfit to deal with his mesmerizing dribbles. At just 5ft 6inches Garrincha’s low center of gravity helped him weave around opponents effortlessly.

Top 10 Football Dribblers Of All Time

4. Diego Maradona

Maradona uses a style of dribbling called “Gambetta” in which he would use his body position to trick into going the wrong way.

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Maradona is an impudent, supreme football dribbler – who uses his small stature to make an extraordinary impact which made him one of the best dribblers in football. His strength and control made it difficult to knock him off the ball.

3. Okocha

Considered by many as a standout amongst one of the most skillful players in football, he was commended for his abilities and inventiveness. only if his prime had lasted longer, he may very well have been crowned with Ballon d’Or but Okocha is one of the best football dribblers. Be that as it may, it always a joy to watch the Nigerian dazzle on the football pitch.

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2. Ronaldinho

The former PSG forward and Brazil legend came into the limelight amid his time with Barcelona scoring 70 goals in 145 caps for the club. Dinho brought his mesmerizing pattern of football from the streets of Brazil onto the world stage, and defenders couldn’t deal with his skills and frills.

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Every little thing about him appeared to be so superb. From his sly bluffs to his sudden change in increasing speed, all that he did was accompanied by a smile all over his face. His most popular trick was  ‘Snake Bite’ where he would trick defenders by pushing the ball sideways, however, all of a sudden pulling the ball back the other way. He is considered one of the best football dribblers.

1.Lionel Messi

Having for all intents and purposes wins everything minus a World Cup, the four-time Balon d’Or winner is magnificently unstoppable on his day. The Barcelona forward has scored lots of stunning goals, beating three, four, even five players before firing it in the back of the net.

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Honourable Mentions

Mathias Sindelar, Zinedine Zidane, Micheal Laudrup, Adama Toure, Magico Gonzalez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Ariel Ortega, Eden Hazard,Dennis Bergkamp.


This is CheapGoal’s top 10 football dribblers, if any of our loving readers feel otherwise or have their preferred special list, pls don’t hesitate to drop and comment…

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