There are players who persevered despite personal adversity. It’s sometimes tough to remember that football players are also people, but when they are involved in awful personal catastrophes, that reality slams home.
Looking back over the last few years, here are four examples of footballers overcoming adversity and continuing to play the game we all love.
1. Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand, one of the finest central defenders in Premier League history, made headlines for all the wrong reasons in May 2015, when his wife Rebecca Ellison passed tragically following a brief fight with breast cancer.
The former Manchester United and England defender announced his retirement from football shortly after, in what would be his first and only season with QPR, but he has remained in the spotlight as a renowned pundit.
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.
3. Wilson Palacious
Wilson Palacios was a former player for Wigan Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur, and Stoke City. While playing for Spurs in 2009, he was involved in a horrific battle to free his 14-year-old brother Edwin from captivity in his native Honduras.
Edwin’s body was discovered six months after he was stolen. Despite the family tragedy, the defensive midfielder continued to play and was engaged in a World Cup qualifier the day after the funeral.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
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 expelled from school for misbehavior at the time.
Ronaldo was diagnosed 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.