Inter Milan hard man Felipe Melo has revealed that were it not for the sport of football, he was destined to become a murderer. The tough-tackling defensive midfielder noted that having grown up in one of the most dangerous areas in Brazil, he was likely to have been involved in life of crime, were it not for football.
In a revealing interview with Sky Italia, Melo revealed just how close he came to a life of crime saying “I grew up in one of the most dangerous favelas around. There were a lot of drugs and weapons around. Sometimes I went to training and then when I got back one of my friends had died. I had to choose between football and a life of crime.”
“But it was football that was instrumental to me. Had I not become a footballer, I would have become a murderer.”
The Brazilian midfielder escaped the clutches of a life of crime to enjoy a relatively successful career, having spells at Juventus, Fiorentina, Galatasaray and Inter Milan, while also making 22 appearances for the Brazil national team.
However, Melo’s last memory of the Brazilian national team is a bitter one, as he was sent off in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Quarterfinal against Netherlands for a stamp on Arjen Robben, leading to the Selecao‘s exit from the World Cup. Melo was shoved and insulted upon his arrival in Brazil, never appearing for the national team again.
Melo credits father with ensuring he became a footballer
Felipe Melo is now at Inter Milan, and the 32 year old now has perspective on his father’s sacrifices, saying “My father often had to work double shifts to keep us going and I had to make a lot of sacrifices. Only recently have I started to realise how important those sacrifices were. I would not have been where I am now without them.”
“My father was very important to me, but my wife and kids are also very important to me. God comes first for me and then my family.”
Melo’s comments are rather at odds with his reputation on the pitch. The Brazilian was last in the news for a vicious high boot at Lazio midfielder Lucas Biglia, nearly making contact with the Argentinian’s neck, and received a red card for his actions.