Melo: Would have been a murderer if not for football

"I grew up in one of the most dangerous favelas around. There were a lot of drugs and weapons around. Sometimes I went to training and then when I got back one of my friends had died. I had to choose between football and a life of crime," the Inter midfielder said.

Felipe Melo - cropped

Inter midfielder Felipe Melo has enjoyed a successful career.

Inter midfielder Felipe Melo has revealed he was destined to live a life of crime had he not become a footballer.

The midfielder has enjoyed a successful career, representing clubs such as Fiorentina, Juventus, Galatasaray and Inter, as well as making it into Brazil's national team.

However, the 32-year-old believes things could easily have panned out differently in his life. "My father often had to work double shifts to keep us going and I had to make a lot of sacrifices. Only recently have I started to realise how important those sacrifices were. I would not have been where I am now without them," Felipe Melo told Sky.

"My father was very important to me, but my wife and kids are also very important to me. God comes first for me and then my family.

"But it was football that was instrumental to me. Had I not become a footballer, I would have become a murderer.

"I grew up in one of the most dangerous favelas around. There were a lot of drugs and weapons around. Sometimes I went to training and then when I got back one of my friends had died. I had to choose between football and a life of crime.

"Thankfully I was able to escape all that and pursue my dream. I chose football and a different life." 

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