by Mark Bassey
On Monday night, Juan Cuadrado was unveiled as a Chelsea player.
The Blues agreed a fee around £26.8m for the winger, who shone with Colombia at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. But it has emerged that the 26-year-old was almost killed many years ago.
Cuadrado hid under a bed, as armed men gunned down his father when he was just four years, back in their native Colombia. His parents had ordered him to hide as soon as they heard the sound of shooting and by the time he emerged, his father Guillermo had been fatally injured.
His mum Marcela said: “Perhaps the death of his dad made him grow up quicker.”
Cuadrado grew up amid the violence and drug peddling, but turned to football where he quickly made his mark. He played for Udinese and Sampdoria in Italy, before making his big-money move to London.
“I am very happy and thankful for this opportunity,” he said at his unveiling.
“This is a great club and honestly it is like a dream to join the Chelsea family and to know that the manager believes in me. I’m happy.
“It is really going to be brilliant to work with one of the best coaches anywhere in the world,” he added. “I’m very proud to be playing for him and I think he is going to help me grow into a better player.”