Chelsea midfielder Jorginho has revealed that he was close to quitting football altogether when he discovered he was being financially exploited by an agent during the early stages of his career.
The Italian spent many years playing in the lower tiers of Italian football, before rising to prominence with Maurizio Sarri with both Napoli and Chelsea.
He said: "After playing five-a-side in this soccer school I moved to another one where I could play 11-a-side. We’d play tournaments against soccer schools from other regions. I was playing in this tournament in Brazil and an agent scouted me. He took me and other players to his soccer school, which was 200 kilometres away from where I lived at the time.
"I spent two years there. The idea was he used it to scout players and anyone he thought was good enough he took over to Italy. That’s what he did with me when I was 15. He set me up with a trial at Verona in their youth section and they took me on.
"Because Verona weren’t in Serie A at that time, they didn’t have a youth team so I played in a local youth team called Berretti. They played in Serie C1/C2. I did that for two years.
"Whilst I was playing for Berretti, I met a fellow Brazilian called Rafael who was a goalkeeper. I got friendly with him. He was asking me about what I was doing, how long I had been there for, and I told him I was living on 20 euros a week.
"He said ‘hang on a minute, there’s something not quite right about that’. He made some enquiries and it turned out my agent had been taking money and I knew nothing about it whatsoever.
"At that point I wanted to give up. I was completely devastated. I was fed up. I phoned home in tears and told my mum I wanted to come home and I didn’t want to play football any more.
"She said: ‘Don’t even think about it! You’re so close, you’ve been there for a few years, I won’t let you back in the house! You need to stay there and hang tough.’ So I stayed. I continued to train with the first team."