Aston Villa Striker Wesley Moraes Discusses Being A Dad At 14
Aston Villa's club-record signing Wesley Moraes has spoken about how becoming a dad at just 14 spurred him on to become a Premier League footballer.
The 22-year old has a remarkable story that started with him being born with one leg that is almost three centimetres shorter than the other.
In addition to that, he lost his father to a brain tumour when he was just nine years of age and then became a father aged 14. By 16, he had fathered two children to two different women and his experiences have spurred him on to succeed in football.
9 years old: Father dies- M•A•J (@Ultra_Suristic) July 21, 2019
15 years old: Becomes a father himself
22 years old: Signed by Aston Villa for €25m
Oh and has a leg shorter than the other. https://t.co/99PZuuCK4U
He told Sky Sports: "When my father died, it was difficult because my mum was alone with me and my brothers but she worked and now today I do everything for her.
"When I finish training, I call my mum because she is everything. My mum did everything to help me play so every day when I come home, I call her." It's not just his mother and brothers, who he has supporting Villa from back home in the south-east of Brazil.
"I had my first child when I was 14 years old. It was difficult because it was during this time that I started to try and play football professionally. I had to work in the day and then go to training in the evening.
"When I play, I have to think about my family, my kids, my mum, everybody."
At the same age, he juggled trying to further himself in football with trials while working a job in a factory making screws - eventually getting a three-month trial with Atletico Madrid.
"I had to do something. I had to get money for my kids," he added.
"I would go to a team and every team said no. I went to six teams before going to Slovakia.
"When I went to the sixth team, I thought I didn't want to play football anymore. I thought it was finished for me. Then I got a chance."
He starred at a youth tournament for the Los Rojiblancos and also spent time with AS Nancy and Evian in France but to no avail.
But he had caught the eye of Slovakian outfit AS Trencin after they looked at compilations of him in action and they signed him following a successful trial period.
He stayed for just under year, scoring eight goals in 22 games before moving onto pastures new with Club Brugge in Belgium.
Wesley excelled, notching 35 goals in 117 games and attracting interest from Aston Villa, who paid their highest ever transfer fee to secure his signature in the summer.
So far, the £22 million man has four goals in eight Premier League appearances and is thrilled with the start he has made in England.
Wesley said: "I am very happy playing in the Premier League, in the biggest competition in the world.
"Every day, I think about the past - what I was thinking when teams were saying no to me - so I'm very happy now that I have this job."