Ramires keen to build on Chelsea move
Ramires hopes to complete one of the most dramatic of career changes by making his Chelsea debut this afternoon.
The Brazilian midfielder, who cost a reported £17m from Benfica, began his working life as a 16-year-old earning around £20 a week on a building site. Now, seven years later, he could be set to play a part against Stoke City at Stamford Bridge.
Ramires, described by Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, as the "signing of the summer" could also be a vital brick in constructing another challenge for the Premier League and UEFA Champions League double.
He said: "Yes, I worked on a building site when I was younger to help at home. I'm not ashamed of that. That made me the man I am today, giving me the character I am now. When I look back at that time, that helps me keep my feet on the ground.
"I was 16 or 17 working there. Tuesday and Thursdays I'd work 7am-4pm because, after that I had football practice. Then, on Saturday, I worked 7am-11am. I was earning around 80-100 (£30-40) Reals every 15 days."
Life changed forever when he moved from local club Joinville to Cruzeiro, where he earned the nickname "the Blue Kenyan."
"It was an affectionate name," he explains. "I put so much hard work on the pitch, never stop running, and that's why they called me the Kenyan."
He has no doubts he will be able to cope with the physical nature of the Premier League as his footballing hero is Patrick Vieira.
"I'm looking forward to getting stuck in," he said. "I like that side to the game and I can stand up for myself. It's been a characteristic of my game in the past. I'm a tackler.
"Physical strength is the main part of English football. I hope I can build up my strength to be on the same level as everyone else. But I'm a hard man, too. It's hard to 'put me down'."