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.
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!
“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.