Some of the top players in World today did not have the luxury of growing up with their mum and dad. In-fact to some of these players, the name 'dad' sounds foreign to them as all they had growing up was just their mum.
As the name suggest, a 'single mum' is a mother who has a dependent child or dependent children and who is widowed, divorced, or unmarried.
Today at NAIJ.com we will be taking a look at five star footballers who grew up with just a single mum.
1. Luis Suarez (Barcelona):
What many fans as well as footballer lovers in general don't know about Luis Suarez is that the Barcelona and Uruguay striker grew up without a father.
His parents separated when he was just nine years and it was his mum who went through all the stress of raising up the controversial but terrific striker.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid):
One of the best footballers that have ever graced planet earth is Cristiano Ronaldo, well if you do not agree that will be a topic for another day.
Anyway, Ronaldo, was raised by his mother Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro as his father was a serious drunkard and a 'never do well' who contributed nothing in his life.
His mother recently admitted that she almost aborted Ronaldo when she discovered the pregnancy but later changed her mind.
Ronaldo's mum Maria Dolores said: “He is a child that I wanted to abort. God didn’t want that to happen and I was blessed because of that and God didn’t punish me. Sometimes Ronaldo makes fun of me and says
"You didn’t want me to be born. But now you see that I’m here helping all of you.’ And, well, sometimes we have a laugh about that.”
3. Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich):
Bayern Munich combative midfielder, Arturo Vidal was raised by his mother, Jacqueline Pardo, in a poor neighborhood in Chile Capital.
Vidal father, Erasmo Vidal, separated with his mother when he was only 5 years owing to an altercation involving a bed his parents used at the time.
Vidal was forced to become the ‘Man of the house’ to help out his mum who was working as a cleaner.
Speaking about his childhood, Vidal said: "My mother has worked so hard,’ he said. ‘Of course, I help with everything I can. I feel responsible for my younger brothers and long assumed a parental role, I’m like a father and a model figure, I really like it and I do fondly."
4. Memphis Depay (Lyon):
Former Manchester United and Lyon attacker, Memphis Depay, joins our list of football stars that were trained by a single mum as his father left them (Depay and his mum) when he was only four years old.
PAY ATTENTION: Get the latest Nigeria sports new on NAIJ.com sports page
When he signed for the Red Devils, he revealed why he does not want to print ‘Depay’ in his shirt. This is because he does not recognize his father contribution in his life.
“Those things are a part of my life. It is not a part of football. It is a different thing. I have a life next to football,” said Memphis.
5. Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal):
Sanchez might be in a huge transfer uncertainty between Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, but the Arsenal in previous interview has revealed father abandoned his family when he was only five years old leaving his mother to take care of them.
He said that things got so bad that he could not even afford football boots. He used to borrow from friends. He was given his first pair by the Mayor of his home town Tocopila after scoring eight goals in a single match at U-14 level.
Speaking about his childhood: "I used to wash cars for such little money just so I had enough money to buy my football boots. When you are at academies like Manchester United and Arsenal, then everything is just given to you.”
"My family was so poor that football for me was about survival. I told my mother from a young age, ‘Don’t worry, I will become a football player and get us out of this situation’.
Sanchez added: “If I had failed, I would be working 15-hour days on construction sites and still not be earning enough to live. Football saved me, and I don’t think any England players could say that."
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry visits Nigeria, speaks about Kanu, Keshi, Ikpeba - on NAIJ.com TV