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The incredible story of Fernandinho hiding money in a cooker

Manchester City star Fernandinho has deservedly earned himself a life of luxury as one of the best midfielders in world football, but he hasn’t always been so financially blessed.

In fact, during his time as a youngster at Athletico Paranaense, the midfielder was on a very low salary, so low that he was left stunned when the club offered to pay him a ‘huge’ $30 a day to compete in the Copa Libertadores.

Life has not always been so simple for Fernandinho | Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

Fernandinho’s impressive displays led to Shakhtar snapping him up in 2005, where he would go on to collect more money than he knew what to do with – literally.

In fact, writing in The Players’ Tribune, the veteran midfielder has detailed that he didn’t even have a bank account when he arrived in Ukraine – and had to resort to hiding his money in a pressure cooker in his hotel.

“At the end of my first month in Ukraine, I didn’t have a bank account yet and the club actually did pay my match bonuses in cash. It was this huge brick of cash. For a kid who thought $30 was a lot, this was crazy!

“I was staying at a hotel at the time and I didn’t know what to do with it. I showed my wife and in the end, she wrapped it in a towel and hid it in our pressure cooker! She was like, ‘Here, nobody is going to mess with it. Ukrainians don’t even know what a pressure cooker is!’ Haha!

Fernandinho spent eight years in Ukraine | SERGEI SUPINSKY/Getty Images

“With my first paychecks and the signing-on fee, I even bought an apartment for my mum in Curitiba. Compared to some of my old teammates, I was very careful, let’s say!

“But money aside, I ended up spending eight wonderful years in Ukraine.”

Fernandinho remained in Ukraine with Shakhtar until 2013, when Man City paid £34m for his services. The Brazilian has gone on to become a crucial cog in Pep Guardiola’s side, and is on course to captain the club to their fifth Premier League crown during 2020/21 – their third under the revolutionary Spanish manager.

Source 90min

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