The Lost Art of Effective Hard Work: 7 Footballers Who Came From Poor Family

Never Give Up On Your Dream

Footballers… the gods of the football, highly paid individuals with pure talent and rare skill. The well-paying career choice entails hard-work and intelligence and ensuring a high fitness level for years. We see them as role models, an inspiration; sometimes their dreams become our wishes and their lifestyles, our dreams.

Some of these individuals were not always wealthy and famous though, and some of them even had barely enough to eat and had to sleep in constant fear of what was to come.

Some of these footballers are:

Luka Modric

The Croatian midfielder, arguably the best midfielder in the world presently, who plays for the great club Real Madrid, makes the top of our list. Named the best player of the 2018 World Cup tournament and current holder of the Ballon d’ Or, things were not always like this for the ‘little’ guy. The Croatian War of Independence besieged his childhood, and after having to flee from home after his grandfather was killed, he ended up a refugee with his family in a hotel. He only started playing football to seek distraction from the war around him, but thank goodness he did, we might have been deprived the joy of watching the elegant footballer ply his trade now.

Luis Suarez

Playing as a striker for the Spanish club, Barcelona, Suarez has won 17 major trophies in a largely successful career. Also Uruguay’s all-time leading goal scorer, Suarez never had it easy at a young age. Middle-out of seven children, their parents found it hard to cater for them properly. Suarez recalls how he played football barefooted on cobbled roads and how he could not attend practice because he did not have boots.

The controversial player has come a long way since then though and is currently one of the most successful footballers of this age.

Cristiano Ronaldo

The five-time Ballon’d Or winner and arguably the best player in the world today, Cristiano has shown that hard work and determination are key to success.

He lived in San Antonio, one of the poorest districts in Portugal till the age of 12. Ronaldo recounts how he lived in a zinc-roofed house with no toys to play with. He had a football though, and with it, he has carved out a successful life for himself.

Carlos Bacca

Carlos Bacca, the quick and powerful striker plying his trade in Villareal also plays for the Colombian national team and has enjoyed success in his career choice.

Bacca was born in Puerto Colombia, his career did not kick off until 2006 when he played his first professional game for Atletico Junior at the age of 20.

Prior to this, he had to take multiple jobs, working as a part-time bus conductor and even sold fish in his village because his family was from a poor background.

This testing period did not stop him though but only played a part in shaping him to be the footballer he is today.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Always referring to himself in the third person, Ibrahimovic has earned the right over eighteen years of professional football. One of five children, he endured a difficult childhood. Born to immigrant parents, his father could not really cater for all the children. Ibrahimovic recounts how he took to petty thieving and picking locks to survive. Ha also admits to going to school just to get free lunch.

He would have quit football early, the game he first got involved in at just 6 years of age, if his manager had not convinced him otherwise.

Zlatan, the ‘god of football’, is considered one of the best strikers currently even at age 37 and is arguably the best Swedish footballer ever.

Yaya Toure

A professional footballer from Ivory Coast, Yaya Toure’s success story is one to be told. The second of nine children, Yaya Toure never had it easy for him.

Before he began his playing career at 18 years for ASEC Mimosas, he spent years shining shoes alongside his elder brother, Kolo Toure. Kolo left to play football eventually and it was not until a few years after that Yaya took the same decision.

Yaya Toure has gone on to play for top European clubs since then including Spanish heavyweight, Barcelona, and English side, Manchester City.

He is currently out of contract though, after terminating his contract with Greece club, Olympiacos.

Carlos Tevez

Carlos Tevez rounds up our list today. The Argentine striker currently playing for Boca Juniors did not have a pleasant childhood. He lived in a hometown where drugs and violence were mainstays. He revealed that sometimes, he could not go out because he was scared.

He suffered third-degree burns as a child and had to be hospitalized for two months. A scar runs from his ear down to his chest from the burns.

These events have only made Tevez stronger, as “El Apache” himself has had a successful professional career so far, going on to win 75 caps for Argentina and playing for top clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City and Italian giant, Juventus.


These players underwent several hardships to become what they are today, role-models to us and pure examples that no obstacle is too tough to overcome.

Image By: Gellinger


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