Former Chelsea forward Fabio Paim, who was once backed for superstardom by Cristiano Ronaldo, has revealed what led to his downfall.
Like Ronaldo, the winger began his career at Sporting Lisbon and was tipped for big things. He joined Chelsea on loan in 2008 when Luiz Felipe Scolari was in charge but failed to make a senior appearance.
According to GiveMeSport, Cristiano Ronaldo once told reporters during his time at Old Trafford:
“If you think I’m good, just wait until you see Fabio Paim.”
However, Paim failed to forge a successful career, joining 19 clubs and failing to settle at any of them. Sporting had so much faith in Paim that they had him an £18,000 a year contract aged 16 but that appeared to lead to his downfall.
The former Chelsea winger, who was backed for great things by now five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, told Golboesporte (via GiveMeSport):
“I spent a lot of money on cars. I love cars. I spent lavishly on the ones I wanted. All of them. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Maserati and even a Punto. Every car you could imagine. When you have a lot of money, you need a support system around you. I would have done it differently if I could. I knew what I was doing. I believed I had more talent than everyone else."
"Like everyone, I wanted to feel good, wear nice clothing, drive a nice car and behave with no humility. But it’s normal, that’s what people work for, to be satisfied. On the field, I did what I had to, in order to retreat to my place. I spent time with people I wanted to and did what I wanted. At the time, no one criticized me when things were going well. But when I stopped playing, they started pointing the finger. I just wanted to be with my cars.”
Former Chelsea winger claims Cristiano Ronaldo is 'out of this world'
Like Scolari at Chelsea, Paim did not last long at Stamford Bridge and was sent back to his parent club just four months after his arrival.
When asked about Cristiano Ronaldo's comments nearly 20 years ago, Paim replied: (as per The Star):
"He is out of this world. There is no comparison today. In the past, yes. At one point, I could do more than him but I did not have what he had, which is the strength and desire to be what I wanted to be."
"He had a great work ethic and I didn't have that. I had the quality, at least as much as him, but I did not have the rest."
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