Napoli and Italy star Lorenzo Insigne has enjoyed an eight-year football career at senior level, yet things could have been totally different had he taken some of his own advice.
The 26-year-old, who came up through Napoli's youth ranks, is only 5 ft 4 in and is probably always the shortest guy in the room. However, he has excelled as a player in spite of his diminutive stature.
Insigne told UEFA.com that he considered ditching his aspirations because of his height, at one point, but underwent a successful trial at Napoli that changed his mind.
“They used to say I had some talent, but was too short," he recalled (H/T Football Italia). "At one point, I wanted to quit football, as the scouts all told me the same thing and I thought it might be futile to continue. Then I had a trial with Napoli and it went well."
The forward is the only player in the Serie A squad who hails from Naples, and he claims that it brings about a fair amount of pressure.
“Any player who represents his home town will have a few problems," Insigne explained.
“Being the only Neapolitan in the squad, it can happen that the fans expect something more from me. I remember when I was a child and there were 70,000 fans in the Stadio San Paolo for a Serie C game. You don’t see that anywhere else.”
“For a Neapolitan, wearing the Napoli jersey, it’s not something that happens every day. I hope that other young Neapolitans can, like me, make these childhood dreams come true.”
Napoli have a perfect record in the Italian top flight so far this season, and are soon to come up against Manchester City in the Champions League.
“We mustn’t step on to the field afraid to face them," the forward added, referring to Pep Guardiola's side. "They have great champions, but if we play as a team, we can cause them problems. We must have faith, because we’ve got the quality.”