Before he stormed to success in the Premier League the 30-year-old Frenchman says his early days starting out were difficult
Bafetimbi Gomis has revealed he felt “shame” and “inferiority” early in his career because of his lack of education.
But in a searingly honest interview with L’Equipe TV , the Swansea striker said his parents had given him the principles which have guided his career.
The France forward, now 30, said: “I stopped my schooling after Year 10. I miss something, I have regrets. You want to exist, to be more than just a footballer. When I started, during my first interview I found it difficult to express myself.
“I had a feeling of shame, of inferiority. If I have one regret, it is not being able to invest 100% in my education. My father was angry with me about this for a long time.”
Gomis revealed his parents did not know how to read and write. “You have to understand. My father didn’t study much. It was hard for him to supervise my homework from the start.
“When you have to work, get up at 6 o’clock in the morning, come back very late, and on top of that you have a lot of children, it is hard. I understand my parents. They still gave me the chance to be born in France. It is a chance.
“My father was born in Africa. He couldn’t go to school. He had to work to help his family. When I was lucky enough to go to Senegal when I was 15 or 16, I knew I was going to succeed. I knew I had to be harder.
“I had to suffer a little bit more, be a bit less lazy and accept criticism sometimes even if sometimes it is not fair. To accept injustice. But I had a goal: to succeed and be honest.”
Gomis holds faint hope of returning to the France squad after missing the 2014 World Cup because he was frozen out by his former club Lyon.
He added: “In football, there is no place for weak people. I have always believed in myself. I still do. The 2014 World Cup is among my regrets, especially as I left the France team over a fallout with my old club. But it is important to have principles. I have them. And I didn’t want to abandon them, even if it meant giving up the France team.”
After a difficult start to his Swansea career last season, Gomis scored in the first four Premier League matches this season to push his claim to play at Euro 2016.
“I don’t believe, no,” he admitted. “But I have become pickable again. When you are 30, you see things differently. But my priority is to play well for my club. That doesn’t mean to say that I no longer believe but I know what I would have to do to go back.”