Union Berlin forward Taiwo Awoniyi has revealed the challenges he faced while growing up in Nigeria and how he ended up moving to Europe.
The 24-year-old Nigerian star currently plays for the Bundesliga side after sealing a permanent transfer from Liverpool in the summer window.
He said even getting money to buy playing boots and food was difficult.
“I always said it’s difficult to go into detail but it was really difficult, let me just put it that way,” Awoniyi told Bundesliga, when asked about growing up in Nigeria.
“Football is like a lifeline for my family because it changed a lot of things. Getting the money to buy football shoes, getting the money to eat sometimes is quite difficult, but my parents were able to send everyone to school which is the most important thing to be able to do.
“I’m very grateful to them for it, but it was not an easy journey, to be honest.”
On leaving Nigeria to play in Europe, Awoniyi said: “Yeah, I’ve always loved to play football. I started football really quite early. I went to school also but my goal was always football, football, football.
“So when I had the chance to come into the national team, I realised this is something I wanted to do and when I had the chance to get signed by Liverpool, I couldn’t say no. It was a dream come true for me because it has always been what I wanted – to play football all my life.”
Awoniyi has so far scored three goals in as many matches this season and will try to do more when Berlin welcome Augsburg to the Alte Forsterei Stadium on Saturday.