Best rags-to-riches story?

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by AndSomeAreAngels, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. AndSomeAreAngels

    AndSomeAreAngels Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 7, 2003
    Brokelyn
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm curious, does anyone have any good stories of footballers who rose from poverty and destitution to stardom in the world of sport? I'm looking for stories of S. American players specifically. I realize most players come from very little, but are there any stories that stand out?

    I'm also curious as to what sort of football non-profits or academies exist in S. America that give underprivileged children the opportunity to play football.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Hartfield

    Hartfield Red Card

    Jun 15, 2005
    Bogota D.C
    ppretty much all South American players...

    I heard Ronaldo didnt even have soccer shoes...or shoes to play. Now he has soccer shoes with his name on it
     
  3. Neo¹

    Neo¹ Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    Robinho used to sleep on the floor when he was a kid.


    And Raul Gonzalez (Real Madrid, Espana) was also quite poor as a child.
     
  4. Cassano

    Cassano Member

    Jul 16, 2004
    Club:
    AC Milan
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Antonio Cassano grew up in the old section of Bari and was very poor. He stole car radios as a kid and sold them for money. He then went through the Bari youth system and is now a superstar. They're actually making a movie on his life in Italy.
     
  5. GoodDead

    GoodDead Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 8, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Club:
    Sporting Braga
    Nat'l Team:
    Portugal
    Liedson of Sporting C.P. was bagging groceries in Brazil up until he was noticed at the age of 22 I believe.
     
  6. joto 3

    joto 3 New Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    evansville, IN
    and robinho looks like he has never eaten in his life... does that count?
     
  7. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    I forgot his name exactly. One of the fullbacks on Brazil's 1998 World Cup team was selling water melons on the street about a year before the World Cup. He was with some smaller club in Brazil. They did not pay his salary which was peanut to begin with. He had to become a street vendor to earn a living. He was then picked up by a bigger club in Brazil. Within a year, he made a name for himself and got onto the NT.
     
  8. Krutch

    Krutch Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    Arlington, Virginia
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Tunisia
    Now thats a rags to riches story...anybody know his name?
     
  9. jayro75

    jayro75 Member

    Sep 8, 2004

    I believe it's Kurt Warner...... :p
     
  10. joto 3

    joto 3 New Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    evansville, IN
    mwahahahah
     
  11. Kaushik

    Kaushik Member

    Jun 6, 2004
    Toronto
    Ze Carlos, iirc.
     
  12. guado

    guado Member+

    Jun 30, 2004
    ocotengo miedo
    Club:
    Inverness Caledonian Thistle
    Nat'l Team:
    Indonesia
  13. Kaushik

    Kaushik Member

    Jun 6, 2004
    Toronto
  14. Dominican Lou

    Dominican Lou Member+

    Nov 27, 2004
    1936 Catalonia
    I heard Rivaldo was malnourished and had tuberculosis as a child.

    There are A LOT of South American players that actually lived in the stadiums of the clubs they played in, especially if they are from the countryside and first move into the big city and have nowhere to go.

    I think I read that Ariel Ortega did this.
     
  15. sangreazul

    sangreazul Member

    Nov 17, 2003
    Belmont, CA
    Club:
    Club América
    Nat'l Team:
    Mexico
    You are correct. Gabriel Batistuta did the same for Newell's Old Boys.

    From an ESPN Deportes article (in Spanish)

    http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/perfiles/entrevista/gabrielbatistuta.html

    He tells about having to live with Newell's Old Boys reserves and 4th category when he first started when Marcelo Bielsa was a coach for the youth system. Bilesa made him go on a diet and would give him a box of chocolates once a week if he kept his weight down as well as knowing that Bati loved sweets. Bati says that from the celing where they lived, you could see the stars because of the holes in the ceiling.



    BATISTUTA
    No, se acuerda siempre, aparte que el decía que yo era un gordito, un día me apuró, me hizo hacer una dieta y yo como orgulloso, como soy ahora, antes era más orgulloso, adelgace mas de lo que tenia que adelgazar, creo que llegue a 75 kilos no estaba parado y el bueno, como premio, una vez por semana me venia con una caja de alfajores y como sabia que me gustaban los fantoches?

    QUIQUE
    ¿Y de ahí a Newell's?

    BATISTUTA
    Bueno en Newell's estuve un año en una pensión que era feísima, una tristeza impresionante?

    QUIQUE
    Dos estrellas, esa del cielo se ven las estrellas? BATISTUTA
    Si, si, dos estrellas porque el agujero era así, si te corrías veías otras?no era tristísimo, bueno estuve un año ahí y después tuve la suerte de encontrar un departamento y me fui, pero a los 6 meses me vendieron.
     
  16. AliKarimi

    AliKarimi New Member

    May 10, 2005
    Tehran
    Ali Karimi didnt even play on grass with proper shoes and equipment until he was 17
     
  17. Saukrates

    Saukrates Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    DALLAS,TX
    Amaral played for Brazil 96 olympic team,by the time he was in the Brazil team he was a former street urchin,shoe shiner, gravedigger etc I think he still plays in Italy,last I heard he played for Parma
    Rivaldo was also quite poor, lost his front teeth as a result of Malnourishment.
     
  18. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Carlos Llamosa was an interesting one too. He gave up soccer in Colombia and ended up as a janitor in World Trade Center, NY. His story probably was not as sad as the ones mentioned, but we are talking about a guy who moved to a country with no professional soccer league and ended up playing in the WC Finals. He also worked as one of the most degrading jobs in his new country.

    http://www.ailf.org/notable/iaa/llamosa.htm
     
  19. Froggy316

    Froggy316 Member

    Sep 20, 2002
    Lawrence, KS
    yeah, rivaldo was supposed to be really poor. lost his teeth, and i think he had to run to practice everyday (15 or 20 km round trip). then when he turned pro his dad got run over by a bus.
     
  20. tomas_brolin

    tomas_brolin Member

    Jan 27, 2004
    Geneva, IL
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Sweden
    even worse than roque junior??
     
  21. glennaldo_sf

    glennaldo_sf Member+

    Deportivo Wanka, Semen Padang, Dinamo Bender, Fotballaget Fart
    United States
    Nov 25, 2004
    Doha, Qatar
    Club:
    FL Fart Vang Hedmark
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ah come on man.... playing in the MLS isn't that bad.
     
  22. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    I meant his job as a janitor!!!! I hope you are joking!!!! :)
     
  23. tomas_brolin

    tomas_brolin Member

    Jan 27, 2004
    Geneva, IL
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Sweden
    its a custodial engineer! jeez!
     
  24. FARFAN 17

    FARFAN 17 Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Back in NJ :(
    Club:
    CA River Plate
    Nat'l Team:
    Peru
    thats a classic..
     
  25. cristianoronaldo17

    cristianoronaldo17 New Member

    Mar 21, 2005
    UC 201, nj
    what ever happened to Rivaldo I know he plays in Greece but what about him in the NT?
     

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