New Brazil star Richarlison has revealed that he almost hung up his boots as a disillusioned youngster before finding the form that would catapult him to fame.
The former Fluminense and Watford player has become an instant favourite with new club Everton, hitting three goals in his first three Premier League games after becoming the Toffees' most expensive player in history over the summer.
That form saw him included in the Brazil squad for friendlies against the United States and El Salvador, the latter seeing Richarlison net two goals in a 5-0 rout on Tuesday.
But having been born in the relative football backwater of Espiritu Santo, he admits that his path to stardom was anything but smooth.
"I haven't got enough fingers to count the number of clubs who rejected me," he told AS after his scoring turn.
"I was ready to give up football, but I lifted my head and I went to Belo Horizonte with just the money for an outward ticket for the last trial I had, with America MG. If I didn't make it, I had no money to get home to Espiritu Santo, 600 kilometres away.
"I gave my all that morning and I passed. If I had given up after the first no I would never have made it where I am today."
Richarlison also detailed the hardships of his upbringing, revealing the sacrifices he had to make in order to pursue a career as a footballer.
"I had to live in my uncle's house because it was closer to where I used to train and I had no money for the bus," he added.
"I used to sell candy and ice creams in the street and I worked in the fields to help my parents. I couldn't have done it otherwise, because everyone did what they could so I could fulfil my dream of being a footballer.
"I have learned that you need to have patience, perseverance and faith in people to reach your goals."
The player confessed that the "cold" of England tested his resolve upon swapping Rio de Janeiro for Watford in 2017, but that he now feels at home in the Premier League and is enjoying the further challenge of English classes.
And when it comes to an idol on the pitch, there is only one man that Richarlison looks up to.
"Ronaldo, O Fenomeno. He is a special player and deserves the nickname he has," he stated.
"The other day I had the pleasure of meeting him and it was hugely exciting. I have a ritual that I always do on the bus on the way to games.
"I pick up my tablet and put on videos of his goals to warm myself up."