Antony, Manchester United’s summer addition, has spoken up about his modest origins in Brazil, claiming that as a boy he “didn’t have footwear to play football.”
The 22-year-old completed his dream move to Old Trafford on deadline day this summer for £82 million after spending two seasons at Ajax under new Red Devils head coach Erik ten Hag.
However, Antony has stated that growing up in a poverty-stricken favela in Brazil was exceedingly difficult for him and his family.
‘I was just a simple young lad from a favela,’ he said in an interview with Sky Sports. ‘I couldn’t play football since I didn’t have any footwear.’
‘Because I didn’t have a bedroom, I slept on the couch.’
‘I resided in the heart of the favela. There were drug traffickers twenty yards from my house. On Sundays, you’d be watching a game and there’d be that smell, a cannabis fragrance wafting into the house.
‘There were times when my brother, sister, and I would cry and hug one other, reflecting on our life.’
‘There were moments when we were bailing water out of our flooded house in the middle of the night, but we’d do it with a smile on our faces.’
Antony made his Manchester United debut against Arsenal last week, as Ten Hag recorded his fourth consecutive Premier League victory, propelling his team to fifth place in the table.
As he ran towards the Old Trafford crowd in celebration, the Brazilian international admitted that the goal-scoring moment gave him ‘goosebumps.’
‘When I saw the net bulge and the spectators on their feet cheering, it was quite emotional,’ he added. I was covered with goosebumps.
‘It was for my family and the supporters,’ he says.