This Football Superstar Says His Early Life Struggles Can Inspire Younger GenerationsFormer Manchester United winger, Nani says his struggles in life before becoming a football star can help inspire young children.
From an early age, Nani who recently won EURO 2016 with Portugal and is currently enjoying one of the finest moments of his footballing career at Valencia says he knew that surrendering to the obstacles in life was not an option, and he has been swimming against the tide since the very start.
Nani was abandoned by his parents and had a difficult childhood in Amadora, a district in the outskirts of Lisbon where things often turned out badly – as the examples of some of his friends attest to.
Nani went on to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional footballer and, after he was quietly taken out by Manchester United, the club where he achieved his greatest successes, he bounced back in the best way possible by winning UEFA EURO 2016 with Portugal and arriving in Spain at Valencia weeks later.
Speaking with the same directness that characterises his playing style in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com, the Portuguese winger also talked about how his personal journey has shaped who he is today and how his story can help youngster.
According to him,
"I've always had to fight a lot. I've been through so much since I was a child and I keep fighting for everything I want to keep in my life. I've also had an intense fight in football in order to achieve the aims I've set for myself.
"I've always thought it was possible. Today I'm very satisfied with everything I've achieved because I'm the only one who knows what I went through and how hard I had to fight to get here. With my son, for example, I want to show him where I was, where I started, where I played. I want him to know that not everything in life is as easy as it may appear to be now. I'm trying to make him a good person who can reach his own objectives in the future.
"I think my past can teach them a lot. It can show them that they could be like me one day, because even though we go through very tough times in life we have to fight and search for happiness. We shouldn't let go of our dreams.
"If we fight, good things happen in the end. There's no doubt that football saved me from getting into trouble when I was small. I'm not going to say I've never done anything wrong.
"That was normal where I used to live. I got up to some mischief with my friends, childish things, but they led me astray from the right path.
"But when the time came to play football I dropped everything for it. It kept me entertained and everything revolved around the game for me. That's how I stayed clear of bad things." Nani told fifa.com