Eric Bailly recounts rise to stardom from cigarette seller to Man United player

Eric Bailly recounts rise to stardom from cigarette seller to Man United player

Eric Bailly, Manchester United star, has recounted his grass-to-grace story, giving an emotional glimpse into his steady rise from being a street urchin selling cigarette to survive in Abidjan to a super star in Manchester.

The 25-year-old star, who was born in Côte d’Ivoire from poor parents in Bingerville, humbly recounted how his less-privileged background almost shattered his football career.

The Ivorian moved from Africa to Spain after he was spotted by Espanyol's Emilio Montagut following an impressive performance during a youth tournament in Burkina Faso organized by Spanish company Promoesport.

He sealed a Liga switch to Villareal after a year with the Catalan side, making 35 appearances.

The 25-year-old defender moved to Premier League top-side Manchester United in 2016 and has then risen to a popular figure among fans both in his home country and abroad.

Speaking with The Flight in a bare-it-all-interview, the Ivorian international recounted how his life changed within the span of five years.

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"In about five years I had gone from selling cigarettes in the streets of Abidjan to playing for the biggest club in the world," Bailly said.

"When I was nine I was going to school and playing football in the streets like most boys. I was also helping my mother, Appoline, with various things around the house.

"I was always like this. What little strength I had, I tried to put at the service of others. The two of us were living with my older brother, Thierry, in a small village called Bingerville," the 25-year-old further posited.

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Meanwhile, had reported that Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus star, celebrated Christmas party in different style, hiring Lionel Messi lookalike Santa for his kids in what suggested the Portuguese might have taken a swipe at his arch-rival.

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The Yuletide season party held on Wednesday, December 25, with a legion of sports personalities including Muslim star Mohammed Salah celebrating the once-a-year event that marked the birth of Jesus.

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