For those unfamiliar, The Players’ Tribune publishes stories from athletes, written “in their own words” though presumably not actually by the athletes themselves. But that latter bit is just a technical distinction — many, if not most autobiographies are ghost-written as well.
One of the latest to participate is Willian, whose story appears in both his native Portuguese and in his adopted English — as he reveals in it, he recently became a British citizen.
These stories often center on life-changing, even traumatic events, usually from an athlete’s childhood. Willian’s is a bit different in that sense, as it’s centered on the themes of faith (which the subject of the video at the top) and family (which is the main subject of the written piece) instead. And if there’s is one thing that comes through loud and clear, it’s just how much those two things mean to the veteran Chelsea winger.
“People think that footballers are money-grabbers, party animals, all about women. To me, God comes first, ahead of everything else.”
Faith and football are closely tied together for Willian. He discovered the former through the latter, while playing in Ukraine — but knows that only the former will last forever.
In fact, we still don’t know where he will be playing his football next season, even. He continues to hope that it’s at Chelsea, or at least in London. That’s what his family want, and thus what he wants as well.
“London is where I want to stay. This is where I have my family, my church. I want my daughters to grow up here.
“Whenever I get back to the dressing room, I want to keep seeing their messages. I want to keep hearing their love and encouragement. They don’t just remind me to shoot. They also remind me that, no matter what I win as a footballer, my most important trophy will always be my family.”
-Willian; source: The Players’ Tribune
That’s just scratching the surface of Willian’s Players’ Tribune article, which you should read.
“My family believe that they know the most about football — even my twin daughters. They’ll say, ’Daddy! If you want to score, you have to shoot!’” @willianborges88 on family life, his faith, and his future in football.https://t.co/qA8PXvsDcm— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) February 20, 2020