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From 'better than CR7' to Polish 4th division - Former wonderkid Fabio Paim fights back to restart rollercoaster career05:42

From 'better than CR7' to Polish 4th division - Former wonderkid Fabio Paim fights back to restart rollercoaster career

Poland, Grodkow
September 24, 2020 at 17:53 GMT +00:00 · Published

Cristiano Ronaldo once famously said that "if you think I'm good, just wait until you see Fabio Paim." His prophecy never came true. Yet.

Fabio Paim is back to professional football now in Grodkow, Poland, as seen on Wednesday, a couple of months after being released from jail. He was arrested in August last year in Portugal on suspicion of involvement in a drug trafficking network.

Ronaldo's childhood friend and former Sporting Lisbon teammate recently signed for LZS Starowice, a club sitting in the 4th tier of the Polish football league.

"I know I have the talent for this and had I continued the way I was I could have been among the world's best players, because the talent I had," the Portuguese player said. "But talent is not everything in football," he added.

Paim begun his football journey in Estoril, Portugal, and appeared on the scouts' radars at the age of 6. He soon moved to the youth team of Sporting Lisbon, one of the top 3 teams in the country - and where he shared the pitch with Cristiano Ronaldo. When he was 14, scouts from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United regularly attended games the wonderkid played in.

At the age of 19, Paim moved to Chelsea FC, his biggest and last chance so far at a major club.

"Chelsea was a very important moment," Fabio Paim said. "I let myself get lost by some things, I stopped focusing on what I was doing which was playing football and which is what I know how to do. I've downgraded a bit, went back to Portugal and got carried away by things that I shouldn't be doing outside football, and it was my downfall."

Paim has wandered around 13 clubs after leaving London in 2009, and although much has gone wrong in his career, he is proud nevertheless.

"I feel very proud for being a part of it, that he said and gave me this support," Paim said, concluding that "Cristiano is Cristiano and I'm here fighting my own battles, every person is born for what is born for."

From 'better than CR7' to Polish 4th division - Former wonderkid Fabio Paim fights back to restart rollercoaster career05:42
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Description

Cristiano Ronaldo once famously said that "if you think I'm good, just wait until you see Fabio Paim." His prophecy never came true. Yet.

Fabio Paim is back to professional football now in Grodkow, Poland, as seen on Wednesday, a couple of months after being released from jail. He was arrested in August last year in Portugal on suspicion of involvement in a drug trafficking network.

Ronaldo's childhood friend and former Sporting Lisbon teammate recently signed for LZS Starowice, a club sitting in the 4th tier of the Polish football league.

"I know I have the talent for this and had I continued the way I was I could have been among the world's best players, because the talent I had," the Portuguese player said. "But talent is not everything in football," he added.

Paim begun his football journey in Estoril, Portugal, and appeared on the scouts' radars at the age of 6. He soon moved to the youth team of Sporting Lisbon, one of the top 3 teams in the country - and where he shared the pitch with Cristiano Ronaldo. When he was 14, scouts from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United regularly attended games the wonderkid played in.

At the age of 19, Paim moved to Chelsea FC, his biggest and last chance so far at a major club.

"Chelsea was a very important moment," Fabio Paim said. "I let myself get lost by some things, I stopped focusing on what I was doing which was playing football and which is what I know how to do. I've downgraded a bit, went back to Portugal and got carried away by things that I shouldn't be doing outside football, and it was my downfall."

Paim has wandered around 13 clubs after leaving London in 2009, and although much has gone wrong in his career, he is proud nevertheless.

"I feel very proud for being a part of it, that he said and gave me this support," Paim said, concluding that "Cristiano is Cristiano and I'm here fighting my own battles, every person is born for what is born for."

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