Experiences in life are meant to teach us lessons, while for some, they leave a stigma that may never heal. Footballers are humans just like us and they go through the same pain and joy as everyone.
It's always depressing when we go through circumstances that threatens our existence and yet, we can't control it.
Photo showing World Class Players
For the sake of this article, I'll be highlighting some of the greatest players, that went through adversity and health threatening challenges during their journey to stardom.
One of Ac Milan's finest attackers between 2005/06 - 2007/2008 campaign. He was notable for his speed, dribbles and precision in front of the goal. He also won the UEFA Champions League, World Cup and 2007 Ballon d'Or award during his successful career.
Kaka in action
While playing for his boyhood club Sao Paulo , in Brazil, he got injured in one of the games at the time. Initially, the medical team thought it was nothing serious but after examination, it was discovered that he suffered a spinal fracture.
Image: Kaka's popular celebration
After several attempts by the medical team to help the youngster, it was feared that he might not walk ever again but God intervened and saved him.
Kaka celebrating a goal
This is the reason behind KaKa's celebration style i.e pointing one finger from both hands to the sky in reverance to God.
6. Victor Moses
Losing someone can be painful but losing a love one is very traumatising and devastating. This was the story of one of Chelsea's finest right back- Victor Moses.
Victor Moses in action
He is a typical utility player with Russian side-Spartak Moscow. He had a successful career at Chelsea winning the Europa League, Premier League and Africa Cup of Nations with his country- Nigeria.
Image: Victor Moses in a Spartak Moscow shirt
He is one of the few persons, life gave an unfair treatment while growing up as a child. Victor Moses parents were murdered in cold blood during a religious riot in the Northern Part of Nigeria, at the age of 11. His uncle took him to England as an Orphaned asylum seeker.
It was there in England, he created a path for himself through hardwork, dedication and commitment to become the star he is today.
5. Nwankwo Kanu
Nicknamed 'Papilo', is one of the most decorated footballer in the history of Nigeria. He has won several trophies at club and National level. The peak of his career was in the famous Red and White Shirt of Arsenal Football Club.Kanu in an Arsenal Jersey
In 1996, while playing for Italian side- Inter Milan, Kanu was diagnosed with a Congenital heart defect that required immediate surgery. After a successful surgery, he was out for almost a year as many thought he wouldn't continue playing again.
Papilo in a Nigeria Jersey
But Kanu proved doubters wrong by returning stronger and better, scoring some fantastic goals, notably against Chelsea which is remembered till date.
4. N'golo Kante
This is currently one of the best midfielders in the world. He plays for Chelsea FC as a defensive midfielder, winning lots of trophies for the blue side. He recently won the second UEFA Champions League trophy in the Club's history.
Kante winning the UEFA Champions League
Kante suffered so much as a child by picking Trash/Garbage for survival, aged 8, to support his sick Dad, who then died three years after.
N'golo Kante in a Chelsea Jersey
Fast forward to 2018 before the World Cup in Russia, Kante again lost his brother - Niame. He couldn't concentrate, but support from his teammates and fans, gave him the courage to pull through and eventually, he won the World Cup with France.
Kante winning the 2018 World Cup
3. Carlos Tevez
Whenever there's a derby match and you have Tevez on your team, be rest assured he won't disappoint.
Carlos Tevez in a Manchester United jersey
This is one of the few players who broke the Manchester United Fans heart by moving to their noisy neighbours- Manchester City, after he left the red devils. He is a terrific player with so much energy and passion for the game.
Carlos Tevez in a Manchester City Jersey
During his childhood, he was severely scalded with boiling water, resulting in third degree burns from his right ear, down his neck to the chest.
Image showing the scar from the accident
This resulted in Tevez being hospitalized for two months leaving him with scars on the affected regions.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo was born into the family of Jóse Aveiro who although was an alcoholic, supported his football career.
His father enrolled him to the Andorinha football academy, aged 8. He combined academics with football but eventually got kicked out of school for throwing a chair at his teacher.
With football and family as his only love, he pursued his football career and again hit rock bottom when he was diagnosed with a racing heart.
Ronaldo lifting the Scudetto trophy
In September 2005, two years into Ronaldo's career at Old Trafford, his father died from Cirrhosis of the liver disease.
Ronaldo's instagram message about his father
He still mourns his father and has proven to the world that he is a hardworking and committed player who never gives up.
1. Lionel Messi
This is the Greatest Of All Time in football history. He's having such a beautiful career with FC Barcelona, scoring lots of goals and winning trophies.
Messi in a Barcelona Jersey
At age 11, Messi was diagnosed with Growth Hormone Deficiency( GHD) which resulted in him been stunted. It was required that he undergoes medical attention to enable him live a normal life just like every other person. His health was deteriorating due to the slower rate at which maturation took place.
Messi at a tender age
Then, he was playing for Argentine side-Newell Old boys, who promised to take care of the medication but later bailed. River plate wanted to sign him but not willing to pay the medical bill except Barcelona who agreed to help him, seeing the talent he possessed.
Messi celebrating one of his goals
Today, he's a successful player and the dividends has paid off by trusting in his abilities.
Which of them do you feel the most pity for? Let's see your choice and reason(s) for that in the comment section below.
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