London, Nov 27 : Robinho, a top Brazilian football star, has said that initially he though that being a football star was an important thing in the world, but lately he has shunned the notion, after his mother was kidnapped and released only after 40 days when a ransom of 45,000 pounds was paid to the kidnappers.
He said his mother always advised him to study hard and give up football, but he never paid heed to her advice.
"Once I thought being a footballer was the most important thing in the world. But when my mum was missing, I realised it was not. When you are in the spotlight you are a target for these people," he said and added that his mum didn't want him to be a footballer.
"She said I should spend more time in my lessons and work hard at school. I heard her but I never really listened," The Sun quoted him as saying.
Robinho, who became British football's most expensive player in a 32.5 million-pound deal, was playing for Brazilian side Santos when mum Marina was snatched from her garden in 2004. A gang of gunmen bundled the 43-year-old into the boot of a car in Sao Paulo and held her hostage for 40 days. "The days she was missing were the worst. I can hardly describe how horrible it was. I could barely eat. I stopped playing football. I wondered if my career was worth risking the safety of the people I love," said Robinho.
Soon after his mother was release, he signed for Real Madrid and took his family with him to Spain. He now lives with wife Vivian and son Robson in Manchester.