by slaven brnjakovic

In today’s world, football has grown to become a business rather than a game.  Thousands of players around the world now play for huge amounts of money, which gives them a superstar status.  Many earn so much money they don’t know how to handle it, while many of them are just using their talent to pick up from dirt and provide a living for their families. This is a story of a young man whose life was saved by football.  The story is based on true events.

Mario was one of the neighbored kinds that had one dream: one day becoming a champion and save his family from poverty.  He trained really hard every day with the local club.  He was not a wunderkind only a youngster who dared to dream.  His family of five lived in horrible conditions.  In his neighborhood, there were barracks, which were used as a shelter for minorities and other lower-class people.  The rent was high but it was at least a roof over their heads.

Mario became popular in the local level but was still unable to make a transfer abroad.  It was almost unimaginable to see a professional football player living in such bad conditions, but he sustained and managed to keep up.  After spending several seasons in the national league he finally secured a transfer abroad.  Knowing that a life of a footballer cannot last forever, he started saving money and provide existence for his family.  There were also rumors, that during the early beginnings, he slept in his car, unwilling to pay any suite.  His endurance was impressive and with the time he spent in the league, he secured a new home in his hometown.  His family and his friends were proud of him.

After he established himself as a fine player with great character and willingness to succeed, he was spotted by a club from the East and transferred to one of the richest clubs in that part of the world.  The situation just got a lot better.  He became club captain and was brought back from attack to defensive position.  This country recognized his desire and offered him a lucrative contract and a possible career in the club.

His family now is one of the wealthiest in his hometown.  They all practically live from his career and have no worries of everyday’s challenges.  Although he did not build any great career, he is cherished and respected in his hometown and that is enough for him.

We always imagine football by the world standards and stardom that superstars reach in England, Spain etc but football provides care also for those who seek the opportunity to climb out of the slum.  That should inspire generations and young people to start doing sports, because in this tough world we live in, it can provide the stability and insurance for you and your closest for many years.

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