EVERTON’S new £40million star Richarlison has revealed he used to be called a “bandit” as a youngster and has “many friends in jail”.
The ex-Watford ace, 21, claims some old pals from Brazil are dead and describes how football stopped him going down a dark road.
Getty Richarlison has opened up about his troubled past and how football saved him
Richarlison was born into poverty in an Espirito Santo favela but avoided the world of drug-dealing, by selling ice cream with his mum.
The Toffees‘ new-boy said: “I have said that many of my friends are in prison, some of them already dead. I had everything about me to go the same way.
“I remember walking in the street and they called me a tramp, a bandit. Thank God I did not become a bad guy like they used to.
“I’m here in the Premier League and I help my family. That’s what matters. I did not listen to these people who just want the bad.”
Instagram @Richarlison Richarlison was subjected to peer pressure over drug-dealing, but he refused
Richarlison addded: “The majority of my friends went to sell drugs in the street because they saw easy money… a lot of money.
“But I knew it was wrong so I sold chocolate and ice cream and washed cards because I knew that was the right thing to do. And I could help my mother.
“My friends used to tell me, ‘Don’t be a little girl, come and smoke with us, come and sell with us, you can make much more money.”
Richarlison went on to say how football saved his life, adding: “When I was seven my dad bought ten balls for me.
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