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From refugees to sporting heroes - 6 incredible turnaround stories

Mario Stanic couldn’t really conjure his best form whilst at Chelsea
Modified 09 Sep 2015, 20:16 IST
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Some are gifted, some are natural, some have the financial backing to make it big. But there others who dream of great things but are caught in environments or countries which make achieving their dreams an impossibility. There are few people who are able to escape the atrocities and enter countries which might provide them a chance to turn their lives around. There have been quite few instances where these refugees have managed to turn adversity into their strenghts and achieve greatness.The recent events involving Syrian refugees seeking asylum in European countries has invoked an array of sentiments and approvals worldwide. These people are been given a chance to redeem their lives again and quite possibly Germany or France might be able to unearth a sporting jewel amongst them. There have been quite some instances of refugees who have achieved success in various sports. We look at 6 such famous refugees who managed to turn their lives around and become sporting heroes for their adopted countries. 

#6 Mario Stanic - Football

Croatian international Mario Stanic joined Chelsea in 2000, after achieving considerable success for Parma where he scored 25 times in 109 appearances. He also had a stellar World Cup tournament in France which prompted Gianluca Vialli to bring the talented forward to Stamford Bridge.

Stanic’s rise to football glory was nothing short of dramatic. He fled his home county of Croatia in 1992, during the Bosnian War due to racial persecution. This forced him to seek refuge in another European country. He first entered Italy, where he represented Parma, and then entered the UK with his Chelsea transfer.

His stint at the Premier League started with a big bang, quite literally. He ended up scoring a brace on his debut against West Ham United. One of the goals was a thunderbolt as he picked up the ball around 40 yards from goal, and launched a thundering volley over the head of the stranded Shaka Hislop in the West Ham goal.

His career was however disrupted due to injury and he went on to have only 38 starts for Chelsea in the next 4 seasons. Even though he retired at the age of 32, he still achieved a lot in front of the goal, considering he had such a troubled start to life.

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Published 09 Sep 2015, 00:21 IST
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