Toon dynamo Tiote didn't have boots until he was 15!
Published 23:00 17/12/10 By Simon Bird
Nine years ago Newcastle midfielder Cheik Tiote had never worn a pair of football boots – now he’s got the world at his feet.
As a boy growing up in the Ivory Coast, teenage matches were played barefoot, in the streets of the capital Yamoussoukro, where Premier League riches seemed an impossible dream. So no wonder Tiote is contented ahead of today’s game at Birmingham.
Tiote said: “Growing up was difficult. I started playing football when I was about ten for a very local team.
“There were a lot of materials lacking. We did not even have football boots.
“I played for nearly five years barefoot and it teaches you how to control the ball and pass from an early age. I was 15 before I got my first pair of football boots.
“Now we have everything – then we certainly didn’t.”