09 Nov Player Insider: Hard Work, Sacrifice and Dedication
Written by: Roberto, U-17 Barça Academy player
I was born in El Salvador, South America, and lived there for six years until my parents decided to move here to the U.S. to seek a better life for me and my two sisters. I’ve been playing soccer since I was 4 and I also did taekwondo at the same time, my mom would take me to practice on a bus literally right after she got off of work, she dedicated her time to me and my older sisters. My dad would work more just to provide for us. Moving here was difficult, we lived in one bedroom at my aunt’s house until my parents got settled.
I remember that my dad would drop me off at school around 6 A.M. because he had to go to work, I would be the only one there and I was only in the first grade. At that time, I was still doing both sports but once I started focusing more on soccer, I decided to give up taekwondo. My dad would take me to trainings after work that were very far, I still remember how he’d look exhausted every day, but still had the energy to take me. My parents have always worked hard to help us have a bright future, they’ve always guided us through the good and the bad, they’ve always been there for us, they’ve given us everything we wanted, but above all, they have always stressed that education is the way to success.
I know that they do not accept C’s, only A’s and B’s, I take school very seriously. I want to succeed to show them that their hard work and mine had paid off. It has always been a dream of mine to become a professional soccer player. I started playing for Real SoCal when I was 11, practices were at 4:30 so my parents couldn’t take me. So I had to run home from school and take the bus by myself to practice. I’ve always done that, until I got the opportunity to try out for Barça Academy. Who knew that a kid who played the B team for the past two years in a row would make the Academy? It’s all hard work, I started to work on my fitness at the age of 13, I’d get up and 6 A.M to go run. I’ve learned that, if I want something, it’s not going to come to me, I have to go work for it. With all the hard work my parents do, I have to work hard and not take their hard work for granted. My parents have jobs but sometimes that money isn’t enough. We all go sale Salvadorian merchandise at the fairs, parks and events. Every time I go sell, I realize how hard my parents work. I see them sweating, attending to customers and never resting. I see what they do, getting up early for work and not making it back home until late at night and doing the same thing the next day. I owe it all to them! Because of them, I am where I am at now. It makes me happy seeing and hearing them say that they are proud of me. I try my best at school and with soccer, I want to make myself and my parents proud. I want to show them how far I can make it. My goal is to be successful, my dream is to be a professional soccer player, but I’m also going to keep to keep a career going as a physical therapists as well.
My goal is to succeed in soccer and school. I have seen and experienced the lives of my parents, it’s hard being an immigrant and not getting the privileges others get, but what makes me admire my parents is that it’s never stopped them from moving forward. I am creating my future and they are helping me shape it. I don’t know what I’d do without their help and guidance. My family is everything. They’ve helped me achieve every accomplishment, soccer championships, taekwondo tournaments, my soccer career and success, playing at the highest youth soccer level and of course, my education.
I think about the past and the sacrifices that my parents and I have made, it has all helped me get to where I am now. All my hard work and dedication will pay off someday, but for now, I have to keep going on the same path. I’ve always had this quote, it’s something always say it, “One day I want to honestly say, I made it.” And one day I will say it and mean it!
Being at Barça Academy will help me achieve my goals simply by being here. I have learned many helpful things that I would not have learned without this experience. It has helped me grow as a person, a player and a student with all of the given responsibilities. It has helped me grow in ways that no kid could at this age. So far on this journey, I’ve learned to become more of an adult, one who strives for success, one who makes his parents happy and one who is happy with his life. I have set many goals for myself, some I have achieved already, but some yet to be accomplished with the help of the Barça family and with the help here I will be able to achieve my goals.
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