It’s not simple to make it as a professional football player. It’s even more difficult to reach the top of the sport. Many show potential early in their careers but fade away as time goes on.
Reaching the pinnacle of the sport, on the other hand, is considerably more difficult when players face big failures. However, some footballers have overcome personal traumas and enormous obstacles to achieve their full potential.
Here is the list of 5 footballers who survived personal adversity to achieve professional success:
The Frenchman is one of the country’s most successful footballers. Monaco was where he began his career. Later in his career, he played for Lyon and Barcelona. With the Catalan giants, the defender was a huge success.
In 2007, Eric Abidal joined Barcelona. He went on to play a key role in Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering team. In 2009, the defender won six trophies. In the years that followed, he had a lot of success. However, in 2011, he was hospitalized with liver cancer.
He played and won the 2011 Champions League final although being diagnosed with cancer. In April of 2012, the defender received a liver transplant. Later that year, he returned to football. That season, he and Barcelona won the league. Abidal went on to play for Monaco and Olympiacos after that before retiring in 2014.
The Brazilian is regarded as one of the greatest footballers in history. During his illustrious career, he won the World Cup, the Champions League, and the Ballon d’Or. It would, however, have been impossible.
When Kaka was 18, he was involved in a horrible pool accident while playing for Sao Paolo. He was hurt in the back. Due to a fracture, his ability to walk was questioned. The Brazilian, on the other hand, made a miraculous recovery. Soon later, he resumed his football career. Kaka won the World Cup with Brazil two years later, in 2002. In Italy and Spain, he has also won league titles.
The potential Brazilian international is one of the players who has overcome adversity to attain his goals. He was born in an impoverished neighborhood in Porto Alegre and eventually relocated to a more affluent neighborhood once his brother Roberto joined Gremio. From a young age, Ronaldinho displayed signs of brilliance. However, to attain his goals, he had to endure a significant personal loss.
Ronaldinho lost his father when he was just eight years old. He had drowned in a pool and died as a result of the tragedy. However, the future World Cup winner rose through Gremio’s ranks. After that, he joined PSG before joining Barcelona. In Catalonia, the Brazilian sealed his reputation as a global hero.
The Portuguese are one of the best athletes in the sport’s history. He is a physical specimen with a lot of speed and power. His football career was jeopardized as a child owing to a severe cardiac issue.
Cristiano Ronaldo began his semi-professional career when he was fourteen years old. He had been suspended from school for misbehaving at the time. He was hospitalized with tachycardia a year later. He did, however, have surgery to address the issue.
Ronaldo’s professional career had a rocky start as well. While he was still playing for Manchester United, his father died. Despite these obstacles, he went on to become a football icon. The Portuguese hero recently experienced yet another sorrow when his newborn baby died. Ronaldo will undoubtedly overcome this setback and continue to thrive in his career.
Lionel Messi, undoubtedly the biggest player of all time, had a rough childhood. From a young age, the Argentine was gifted with the ability to play football. He was, however, recognized with growth hormone insufficiency as a child.
His family couldn’t afford the treatment since it was too expensive. Messi’s football career appeared to be gone before it ever began, but Barcelona took a chance on him. They offered to cover his medical expenses and recruited him as a 13-year-old. Eventually, Lionel Messi’s family relocated to Spain. The therapy was handled by Barcelona, and the rest, as they say, is history.