‘F***, Nico. That could be us’ – Inaki and Nico Williams thank parents for risking lives

It may well be the story of the World Cup. Inaki Williams, 28, will represent Ghana in Qatar. Nico Williams, 20, will represent Spain.

The brothers who play for Athletic Club could face each other in the quarter-finals of the World Cup should things go to plan for both nations. Both will arrive in form too, having performed well for an Athletic Club side sitting fourth too.

The Williams’ brothers’ parents emigrated from Ghana to Spain when their mother was pregnant with Inaki, landing in the Basque Country in the North of Spain. It has been a well-publicised story, with Inaki revealing previously that his parents walked barefoot across the Sahara Desert in order to get there. Their father would then go off to London to work and send money back to their mother in order to support the two brothers.

Speaking to Marca in a joint-interview ahead of the World Cup, they were asked what was the most impactful story that their parents had told them about their journey.

Inaki: “We were not aware of everything that happened until they told us when we were older. Now you value more everything they did to give us both a better life. We are always grateful to them. There were moments in our childhood that we missed them, but now you understand that they gave everything they had so that Nico and I have this present.”

The pair still keep contact with their family back in Ghana.

Nico: “Yes. I usually talk to my cousins, my uncles. They don’t have what I have and we try to help. Thanks to my parents we are in Europe and we have a good life. We are happy to help you in any way we can.”

They were also asked about what has made the strongest impression on them since returning to Ghana.

Inaki: “When I was little I didn’t notice things that impact you more when you grow up. Recently, with Nico, we went for a walk and saw boys our age or younger working in the fields. I told him: ‘F*** Nico, if it wasn’t because the parents crossed the way, we could be there.’ It’s a mix. On the one hand, the joy of what we have thanks to our parents, who risked their lives for us to be here; on the other hand, the sadness of seeing that there are still people who live like this.”

Nico: “I felt a chill when he told me and I thought about it. They were kids younger than me and seeing them work like this makes you think that you are privileged, thanks to your parents.”

Their tale is a keen reminder that privilege comes down in large part to where someone is born. Clearly, their parents sacrifice has impacted them heavily and instructed their work ethic on the pitch too.

Tags 2022 World Cup Athletic Club Ghana Inaki Williams Nico Williams Spain La Roja
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