Franck Ribery recalls his early days where he had to struggle at every step to realize his dream of becoming a footballer. The 28 year old believes that there is no substitute for hard work and life’s lessons can be gathered in any field.
“Success doesn’t come easy at least I haven’t seen it happen without hard work and determination. There was a time when it seemed that my football adventure was over. I had to shift temporarily into construction and that meant digging, putting in lines, making holes and closing them. But even there, I worked hard and learnt a lot from helping my father,” Ribery wrote in his column for the Hindustan Times.
“I got back to football when FC Metz offered my first professional contract in 2004. I played brilliantly for them and was sent to Istanbul, where I was part of the team that won the Turkish Cup with Galatasaray,” he reminisced.
Having won several accolades in his career so far, Ribery states that his ‘never say die’ attitude in life has aided him in overcoming the obstacles on the road to success.
“My childhood was not spent with a silver spoon in my mouth. I grew up in the French working-class city of Boulogne-sur-Mer on the English Channel, and I learnt to live with these problems, including a scar on my face from an unfortunate accident. I faced a lot of taunts but I always answered them with boldness,” he mentioned.
“As a teenager I was already bouncing around with smaller clubs. My stint with Galatasaray, however, didn’t last long and it was finally in 2005-06 that I reached stable ground after getting a breakthrough with Olympique Marseille.”
The French international, who was praised by the legendary Zinedine Zidane as the “jewel of French football”, spoke of his delight having had the opportunity to play with the former Real Madrid star.
“It was an honour to play with the great Zinedine Zidane and take France to second place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany,” he said.
“It took many years to realise some of my cherished dreams, but I wish to tell my young friends in India that I never gave up hope.”
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