Jetro Willems Reveals He Smuggled Cocaine Into The Netherlands As A 9-Year-Old
Jetro Willems has revealed he smuggled cocaine into the Netherlands as a 9-year-old child.
Born in the Caribbean island of Curaçao, Willems and his family moved to the Netherlands for a better life but still didn't have much money.
And so his parents felt they had no other choice but to attempt to bring drugs into the country in a bid to make ends meet.
"At a certain point we ran out of money", Willems told former Everton player Andy van der Meijde in an extraordinary interview.
"Even when we got a job, there wasn't enough money left. Then my parents said we were going to smuggle drugs. "
But when his parents failed in their mission, it came down to a young Jetro and, in an act that you would not expect any child to have to go through, he had to carry the goods on a flight.
Because he was so young, he was not searched at the island's airport.
"Then I sacrificed myself," he added.
"My parents talked to me about it, because I was kind of that crazy one. If I have to do that for my family, I'll just do it.
"They glued it around my legs. I was very strange, but they don't really pay attention to children.
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"That was the light for us. Everything went well, they got work and everything just went. All I want is never to get into that situation again.
"I told my parents to give everything they'd planned to give me to my sister instead. All I wanted was a football.
"Ultimately it was that ball that ended up saving my life."
Fortunately, Willems has moved on from that period in his life as it helped secure his family's future.
He made his debut for Sparta Rotterdam aged 16 and later signed for PSV, where he made nearly 200 appearances and won two Eredivisie league titles.
Aged 18 years and 71 days, the left-back became the youngest ever player to feature in European Championships when he started for Denmark at Euro 2012.
He currently plies his trade with Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt and has been rumoured to be returning to Newcastle United after spending last season on loan at the Magpies.
Willems made 20 appearances before a serious knee injury ended his stint prematurely in January.
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