At 23 years of age, Cristian Romero is a starter for Tottenham Hotspur and the Argentina national team, a Copa América winner, and one of the most promising center backs in Europe. But at 17, he had reached a breaking point where he considered whether a football career was even worth pursuing.
Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Romero joined Belgrano’s academy in 2014 and made his professional debut on August 28, 2016 in a 1-0 defeat to Independiente. Romero found opportunities hard to come by with El Pirata, making just 19 appearances before deciding to head across the Atlantic Ocean and try his luck in Italy.
“At 17 years old, Belgrano’s own leaders… throwing so much shit at me…it has been tough,” revealed Romero in an interview with ESPN Argentina. “When Genoa came to buy me, Belgrano’s sporting director at the time told me that in three months, I was going to return to Córdoba to look for work. Those words remain with you … Today I enjoy where I am, what I am achieving and that remains in the past.”
“When I take that second to think about what I have achieved, I start to cry. I wanted to give up football and that all this is happening to me is something that I would never have thought. I try to do my best to continue being in the national team, to continue growing and adapting to Tottenham. I can’t stop myself right now.”
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By: Zach Lowy
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / DeFodi Images