You never know who’s watching you.
I always say that to young players I coach. You should always perform at your best because you never know who’s watching. You never know who might give you the opportunity of a lifetime. I learned that early on.
I grew up in Gafsa, right in the very south of Tunisia. It’s basically the desert, miles from everybody else.
There was no club from there in the top division of Tunisian football when I was growing up, so when I told people my dream was to make it as a professional footballer, they laughed.
Professional football was so far away from reality that nobody believed it was possible.
Then, one day, when I was about 14, I was playing on what was essentially a dirt track, with my brother and my friends. We were playing in bare feet.
This man came over to me at the end of the match, asked me for my name and address, and that was it. I didn’t think anything more of it at the time.
Then, three months down the line, there was a knock on my door. It was some people from one of the big teams in the Tunisian top division. They asked to see my father.