Arsenal playmaker Willian has explained how his life is guided by his Christian faith rather than scoring on the field.
Signing for the Gunners after seven seasons with Chelsea, Willian Borges da Silva (known simply as Willian) has clearly settled in the Capital after moving from his native Brazil with spells in Ukraine and Russia.
He has produced more than 30 goals and assists in his 200+ Premier League appearances.
Though he was brought up as a Catholic, it was during his time in Ukraine that Willian started to truly understand the Bible and accepted Christ as his Saviour.
He said: “People think that footballers are money-grabbers, party animals, all about women.
“To me, God comes first, ahead of everything else. I belong to Jesus. Church helps me a lot, in all aspects. We know, in football, one day you are the best player and on another day, you are nobody.
“So faith helps me keep a balance and helps me not to allow the compliments to go to my head, to think that I am the man.
“At the same time, the criticism will not knock me down.
“It is key to have this balance because without it you can sink one way or another.”
Brazil international Willian is often found expressing his faith on his social media channels, as he did after being baptised in Israel.
He posted on Instagram, where he has nine million followers: “Joy in reaffirming my baptism, in a place that I consider extremely important. The Jordan River!”
Willian attends Cathedral International church in London when the team’s schedule allows.