Ex-Chelsea striker reveals he used to borrow money for food

Former Senegalese Chelsea striker Demba Ba has revealed how he borrows money to feed himself as a young footballer.

Born in Paris, Ba had a difficult start as a professional footballer.

Departing from France, Ba won a contract worth £ 900 a month at Rouen’s fourth tier – but remembers having to borrow money just to eat for the first month.

“My first contract in Rouen (in the French fourth division) was € 1,063 net, per month, and I had to borrow € 300 the first month to feed myself,” he told The Athletic.

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Ba had tries at Watford, Barnsley, Swansea and Gillingham as a teenager, but never ended up being offered a deal.

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The 36-year-old said teams felt they already had players like him on the squad.

He continued: “90% of the time the comments I received were: ‘We already have the same quality of player in the team. “

“They didn’t know I was training twice a week with amateurs at the time, not six times a week with professionals.

“I was told, ‘You are not good enough’, but I didn’t want to hear that, for me it was ‘You are not good enough for me’.

“I just refused to give up. I remember writing letters to the top 40 clubs in France, by hand, asking for a trial.

“I never thought about rejection, only the next chance.”

Despite the early rejection, Ba eventually had a successful career in England after making a name for himself at Hoffenheim, playing for West Ham, Newcastle and Chelsea.

Although the striker didn’t win any major honor at all three clubs, he maintained a prolific goalscoring record.

Ba scored 50 goals in 122 games for his English clubs, before joining Turkish side Besiktas in 2014.

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