Alexandro Bernabei's incredible Celtic journey from poverty, hunting pigeons and the one person who fuels his desire

alexandro bernabei's incredible celtic journey from poverty, hunting pigeons and the one person who fuels his desire
© AFP via Getty Images Lanus star Alexandro Bernabei is on the Celtic transfer radar this summer

Incoming Celtic signing Alexandro Bernabei was so impoverished as a child, he revealed he was forced to hunt pigeons and iguanas to survive.

Ange Postecoglou is set to complete the long-awaited signing of the Argentinian left back for a reported fee of £3.75 million from Lanus in his homeland. Bernabei, 21, made his professional debut three years ago for Lanus in a league match against Atletico Talleres and went on to become a mainstay in their side.

He was born and brought up in the town of Canada de Gomez in the Santa Fe region of Argentina and had a tough start to life, as he revealed in an interview made after he burst onto the first team scene and it will show the remarkable journey he has made to reach Celtic. Bernabei said: “I lived a childhood blighted by poverty. I was raised by my grandparents and it was tough to survive. My mum couldn’t feed us.

“From when I was six months old, I lived with my grandparents. I stayed with them until I was 11 and I moved in with my mother again in the countryside.

“From 11 years old, I worked milking cows, unloading bags of sand and cement. There were 15 of us in the house and I had to get money for my mother and sister to eat.

“My mother couldn’t feed me because she had no money. So, every night I drank a mate drink cooked with stale bread from two days ago.

“Sometimes I didn’t even eat at all. My bath was a fountain nearby.

“My mother’s house is right in front of a cemetery and I remember that if there was a funeral, I would wash and take care of the cars and see if I could get a few mangoes to eat.

“My main childhood memory is hunting pigeons and iguanas.

“On rainy days I used to go play in the mud. I was on the street all day. I left school and didn’t come back until 11 pm.

“My grandfather used to ask what I had been doing – I was hunting. I used to hunt pigeons and iguanas and I also fished too.

“I wanted to help my grandfather by getting him whatever he needed. I ended up cooking and running errands for him.

“My dream is to help him live a comfortable life. My grandmother passed away and there is no one to take care of him. Everything I do in football will be for him.”


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