<b>What were the world’s greatest players like when they were your age?</b><br> <br>Learn how the top soccer stars of all time grew up and conquered the sport. This exciting book follows twenty-eight of the best men’s and women’s players from their first childhood encounter with association football—whether at the school gym or a pickup game in a vacant lot—to their first appearance in a top-division match or their first international cap. For every one of them, it was a journey with its share of both tragedy and triumph.<br> <br>Did you know that . . .
<br> <br><i>. . . as a boy, Pelé practiced with a newspaper-stuffed sock or a grapefruit, because he couldn’t afford a proper football?</i><br> <br><i>. . . Mia Hamm discovered the sport of soccer as a toddler in Florence, Italy, where her father, a U.S. Air Force pilot, was stationed?</i>
<br> <br><i>. . . at age ten, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency that threatened to end his soccer career—until Barça offered to pay for his treatment?</i>
<br> <br>Illustrated with rare photos of stars-to-be on and off the field, <i>Before They Were Stars</i> is sure to entertain and inspire any budding soccer legend.