Rony: Abandoned by parents, a farmer, a courier and now the star of the Copa Libertadores

With five goals and seven assists in ten Copa Libertadores games, Palmeiras forward Ronielson da Silva Barbosa, known as 'Rony', appears to be a firm candidate to be named as this season's most outstanding player in the South American tournament.

His displays have been extraordinary, as has been his trajectory form Remo, a team from the Amazon city of Belem, all the way to the pinnacle of South American football.

Born in 1995, Rony was abandoned by both his father and his mother at a very young age and grew up along with his four siblings in the countryside with their grandmother, who passed away when they were still kids.

After hid grandmother's death, Rony had to help his grandfather with agricultural work in order to make ends meet.

The kids grew up with no toys and without even a proper pair of shoes, but gratefully for him Rony had a ball to kick around.

After moving to Belem, Rony had to work several jobs such as being a farmer, a motorcycle courier and a mechanic's assistant.

To focus on football, he had to wait until he turned 19, when he made his professional debut at Remo. From there he moved to Cruzeiro, who loaned him out to Nautico, where he was spotted by the Japanese club Albirex Niigata.

Rony moved to play in Japan for one season in 2017/18 and then returned to Brazil for Athletico Paranaense, with whom he played 73 games, scored 13 goals and won three trophies between 2018 and 2019.

His displays at Athletico Paranaense saw him catch the eye of Palmeiras, who spent six million euros in February 2020 to sign him on a four-year deal.

Although he did not get off to an impressive start and was criticised for months for his mistakes on the pitch, he bounced back under new coach Abel Ferreira and has become one the best players in the Copa Libertadores.

Source: Marca 


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