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Messi & 5 Other Key South American Footballers Who Grew Up Poor

Life can sometimes be cruel and unfair. Some people are born into wealthy families, while others are born into impoverished homes. People are improving their lives and fighting poverty thanks to football.

In today’s article, we’ve prepared a comprehensive list of South American footballers that grew up in poverty but are now succeeding in their careers.

  • Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi was born in the city of Rosario in the year 1987. Messi was born in Argentina during a moment of severe economic crisis and skyrocketing inflation. 

Messi, however, defied the odds, despite the fact that his father worked as a steel mill worker and his mother as a part-time cleaner. 

He was diagnosed with growth hormone gland illness at the age of 11 and required therapy that cost at least £600 each month. His family, of course, could not afford it. 

Following that, a number of clubs in Argentina turned down Messi, but only Barca was willing to help. He officially joined Barca Club in the end of 2000. Messi is now one of the worlds richest athletes, some 20 years later.

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  • Angel Di Maria

Angel Di Maria was born in the Argentine capital of Rosario, although his family struggled financially. His parents made a little laboring in a coal mine. Di Maria was quite skinny due to his terrible eating habits. 

Angel Di Maria began his football career with Rosario Central before moving to Europe at the age of 19. After the footballer received his first salary, he purchased his parents a new home and they stopped working hard.

  • Firmino

Firmino, like many other Brazilian soccer players, grew up in a poor home. His mother and father were barely well-off enough to feed their family.

However, their neighbors backed them up, saying, “Let him go, he was born with a skill.” They let their son play soccer on the street because “his success is a chance for us to avoid poverty and sorrow.” 

The German scout spotted Roberto Firmino after his Brazilian club put on a series of stunning performances. His family was really proud of him. 

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The 16-year-old was always grateful when he traveled thousands of kilometers from his birthplace to Germany. “My family never needs to work anymore,” he declared at the time, when the news arrived. His family was required to travel with him to Germany.

  • Ronaldinho

Born into unfortunate conditions in Porto Alegre, Ronaldinho’s family was thrown into chaos when his father died abruptly in a swimming pool after suffering a deadly heart attack. 

Ronnie’s football skills were important in the first club’s turnaround. Gremio relocated the family to a more expensive community in order to convince him and his brother to stay with the club.

  • Neymar
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Neymar’s childhood was often associated with ports and parking lots, where he would take on the work of lugging alongside his father before becoming an international soccer hero. His first pair of sneakers were from a dump. 

The challenge is considerable, but his intense passion for the ball has motivated him to keep trying. He is now the mainstay of the Brazilian team, with the world’s most expensive transfer value of 222 million euros.

  • Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez was born into a large family with financial difficulties. Louis’ father abandoned the family when he was 12 years old, leaving his mother with seven children. Suarez’s mother was a maid who made very little money. Suarez regularly played barefoot due to a lack of funds. He didn’t have any boots on him. 

However, Suarez, did not give up and went on to become a professional player. Luis is now Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer.

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