Every soccer player has his or her doubters. Whether it’s a coach, family member, or rival, someone has told them that their dreams are too big or impossible. But those words don’t make the elite give up – they only make them work harder. Those haters are fuel to the fire. Don’t believe us? Here’s how some of the best soccer players in the world have Conquered Their Can’t. Shout out to our friends at STACK.com for the great videos.
Lucas Mendes, Gatorade National Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year
“I have a tweet from my freshmen year. Someone said, ‘Lucas is too small, and he’ll never make it as a professional athlete.’ I still have that up on my laptop. Every day I see it and I think, ‘I have to prove everybody wrong.’”
Ella Stevens, Gatorade National Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year
“I’ve been cut from teams, and that was hard to get through. But it was a learning experience, and I’ve learned how to fail, and I think that’s necessary at the next level.”
Lucas Melano, Portland Forward
“I played for a junior league in Argentina, and I was there for about a month. They told me I could not play because there were other players better than me. So I took a bus from Buenos Aires to Córdoba to play for a club that had space for me, and I could play there. I got better there playing professionally, and I was transferred to the Portland Timbers and won a championship.”
Crystal Dunn, USWNT and Washington Forward
“No one in my career has specifically said, ‘You can’t do this,’ but I do think throughout my career I have faced some challenges. I’m very short, and I always felt like I would get overlooked because I didn’t have the height and the stature that other girls had. At a very young age I was like, ‘Wow, am I even going to continue playing this sport because other girls are just going to get bigger and taller than me?’ So I think that was something I had to deal with when I was younger.”
So now that you’ve heard from some elite footballers, tell us in the comments about your own #SayICant story and how you have overcome or are planning on overcoming it. And as you prepare to Conquer Your Can’t, check out our Soccer Gear Guide to discover this season’s hottest soccer gear.