Leeds United winger Raphinha admits he almost gave the game away as a teen.
He wrote for the Players' Tribune: "You can only take so many punches before you go down. When I was 18, I had been rejected by the academies more times than I could bother to count. Internacional, Grêmio, everywhere it was the same: a one-week trial and then an excuse.
“He's too small. He's too frail. He's got no power.
"Always the same, man. Always the same," he recalled.
"Just before I turned 19, I was training with the U-20 team at Avaí. They were based in Florianópolis, a six-hour drive north of Porto Alegre.
"I had never spent so much time away from home trying to get a contract. But then I got injured, and when I was fit again, I couldn't get into the team. I didn't even make the matchday squad. They told me to train on my own.