Football like all sports is a way of life that requires maximum dedication, not only in trainings and matches, but in all aspects of everyday life. Although many people think differently, the match is just the final part of the mosaic called “career”. In order for the last part to bring the desired result, the athlete must also pay attention to his life off the field.
Professional Brazilian footballer, Renan Alves, 28, only for “Magazin Balkan EU” reveals what the life of a professional footballer really looks like.
Defender who currently plays for Malaysia Super League club “Kedah Darul Aman“, in an interview for us magazine he remembered his childhood, the first professional contract he signed in 2015, but also talked about family, friends, love, the worst and best moments in his career and everything that interest football fans.
What did your growing up look like?
– My growing up was very good, enjoying my whole phase as a teenager, always having a lot of fun, in the community that I was born and raised in.
Since when does your interest in football originate?
– In fact, I always liked football. I come from a family of players, my uncles, my grandparents, my mother, they always took me to the edge of the field, so it’s an old passion. I have a cousin, he is also a professional player, so I always loved football. But I couldn’t imagine playing as a professional. I liked to play in my neighborhood, with friends. I was a little shy, I was ashamed to train. People laughed at me. I didn’t feel well in soccer schools.
You have played for many football clubs, among other things, you played for a Serbian FC Vojvodina, what memories you carry from here?
– I have a lot of good memories of Serbia. I created a lot of friends, which to this day I am very grateful to have helped me. FC Vojvodina was a club that made me mature a lot. It was the first club where I found myself alone. I didn’t speak Serbian, it hindered me a lot, not being able to adapt, I felt very sad, and that hindered me a lot, not being able to surrender the football that made me arrive even Serbia, but I learned a lot of lessons, and I made a lot of friends there. It’s a country that I admire and I intend to return one day to see my friends. I really liked Serbian food. I miss cooking.
What do you especially remember during your stay in Serbia?
– I remember a lot of things. I made real friends, these friends cared about me, so we were always in the cafe, casino, restaurants. Somehow, I felt less sad. I liked walking around the city of Novi Sad. I found a very beautiful city. Walking downtown made me more relaxed and it helped me forget about problems and longing for family.
Have you ever visited Serbia after that?
– I didn’t return to Serbia, but I intend to do so in the future.
You recently renewed contract with FC Kedah from Malaysia, what was crucial for you to make that decision?
– I’m going to the third year in Kedah. I feel adapted to the city, and to the club. That decision was very easy. I had other offers to return to Europe, to Brazil, other teams from Asia, but i prefer to stay. In the past, a friend who worked with me at Vojvodina sent me a message, he wanted to take me to a Serbian team, but I chose to stay at the Kedah.
Do you remember when you signed your first professional contract? How did you feel then?
– I do remember. I signed in Sao Paulo, in the team at Mogi das Cruzes. I felt very happy, being able to play as a professional. I never imagined coming here. I am very grateful to God and my family for everything.
Given that you were born in Brazil and that your family lives there, how do you endure separation from them?
– It is not easy to live away from the family, but I try to stay focused, it is for a good cause. All I do is thinking about the best for my family. Football is the only way I can offer them something better, so I have to stay firm. My family supports me a lot, so it’s easy, we always talk by video call.
Everyone who follows you on social media knows that you especially love your grandmother, do you ask her for advice? Her opinion is surely crucial in making your decisions?
– Yes, my grandparents are my balance point. My grandmother did everything for me. She raised and educated me. My mom had me very young, and needed to work. I stayed with my grandmother, and I grew up with her. I try not to talk a lot about work with her, because she is anxious, and I don’t like to make her anxious, plus all the decisions, I take it thinking about the best for my family.
How different is life in Brazil from life in Malaysia?
– The culture is totally different. Malaysia is a muslim country, the people here are very calm, they are very affectionate, this is very nice, beautiful country. Brazil is a happier country. Brazil is beautiful. I love Brazil.
What are you doing in your spare time? How do you relax?
– I like to travel, there are some islands here in Malaysia which is very relaxing, sometimes I travel, I spend 2 days very quiet. But I like to stay at home, listen to music, watch movies, I like to stay alone.
What does your day after the match look like?
– I try to relax at home, pool, massage, etc.
Judging by the posts on social media, moments in quarantine often looks very interesting. Describe to us what a day in quarantine looks like?
– The quarantine is crazy. We kind of lose livery, it’s strange, I try to train even at home, otherwise I would be more bored. I try to occupy my head somehow, so I try to be busy in the quarantine.
What do you consider the greatest success in your career?
– My biggest success in career is being able to offer a better life to my family, being able to buy comfortable house, being able to offer something to my brothers. This is my biggest success, taking care of my family.
What motivates you to achieve success?
– First God, then my family.
Coronavirus pandemic has affected sports a lot, what do you think about that?
– The pandemic is very crazy. This doesn’t just affect sports, this affected the whole world. It’s very sad, there are so many people dying. I hope that this will end soon, and that we can return to our normal life, enough sadness, it’s time to return to live happy and calm.
How did you spend your days at the start of the coronavirus pandemic?
– I spent in Brazil, I could travel, and stayed 5 months at home, with the family.
If you weren’t a footballer, what would you do?
– I don’t know what it would be, I would dedicate myself to some profession, but I can’t tell you which one, because I don’t see myself in another profession, except football.
Although footballers are considered the greatest womanizers, many girls dream of becoming their wives, what would you tell them?
– No, I’m not a womanizer. I was dating, it ended recently. I already had my womanizer phase, today I’m more focused on my career, on my job. I’m not a teenager anymore, this burden of womanizer I leave it to the youngest.
What qualities does a girl need to have in order to win your heart?
– The relationship is very complex. We feel it, I let things happen, I don’t get attached to labels, I like to see everyday life.
What is the worst and what is the best moment you have experienced in your career?
– My worst moment, when I had to operate my knee. It was my first time outside Brazil. I was playing in Portugal, and I was doing very well. Than I was attracted attention from other teams. I got hurt in training, I had 20 years old, I started kind of depressed, it was a very difficult moment, I got really bad. Happy moment, I usually say that every day, I am very happy for everything I have been conquering. Get a title with FC Kedah in 2019 was very beautiful and rewarding.
What are your plans for the future?
– I usually leave it in God’s hands, whatever he has saved for me, I accept. I try to evolve as a professional and as a person, and work hard day after day.
For the end, what do you want to say to your fans and our readers?
– I’m a little shy and don’t talk much, that’s why I’m not much in front of the cameras. I’m quieter, but I’m very grateful to all the people who accompany me. Thank everyone for their support, for all forms of affection. It makes me very happy. Gratitude to all, I love you.