Locadia: Football saved me from being a criminal

Jurgen Locadia. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Jurgen Locadia. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton's club record signing Jurgen Locadia admits football saved him from a life of crime.

After joining for a reported £14m fee last month, the 24-year-old cannot wait to make his Albion debut in Saturday's FA Cup fifth round tie with Coventry and says he is '100 per cent ready to go'.

Locadia had a difficult upbringing as his parents separated when he was two, so he lived with his mother and three younger sisters, and admitted he'd 'probably be a criminal' if it was not for football.

He started his career at VV Bargeres and then also played youth football for FC Emmen, RKSV Sarto and Willem II, before moving to PSV Eindhoven in 2010, scoring a hat-trick on his debut in 2012.

On his early life back home in the Netherlands said: "I had a difficult time because my parents separated when I was two. I was staying at home with my mum and three little sisters, my mum had to work also so I spent a lot of time at my grandmas.

"That made me how I am right now, I think.

“When I was older I realised what you miss. At that time I didn’t realise, I didn’t know better.

"In two weeks against Swansea, they will come over from Holland. My mum and all my sisters, I think, will be here."

Locadia says he is honoured to be Albion's club record signing but is not worried about the price tag and admits money is not a motivating factor in his career: "This isn't about the money, I don't care about the money.

"I started playing football because I loved it. That's the main thing for me."

Despite his love for football, Locadia does not see himself staying in the sport once his playing career comes to an end.

He also has a passion for music and has released three singles in the Netherlands. He said: "Everybody needs to do something after their football career and I'm not the type of guy who is going to be a trainer or a manager.

"I enjoy making music and when I finish my career as a soccer player, I will definitely go into music.

"I got into music three years ago, I had a friend who was a producer also. We started hanging out and making music and when I had a long injury at PSV, it started being more serious and I put music out and produced more songs."

In the meantime, Locadia is relishing the prospect of making his Brighton debut on Saturday: "If I get minutes from the coach, it will be a crazy feeling.

"The Premier League and FA Cup is a big dream of mine. If I get minutes on Saturday, it will be a crazy feeling, not only for me but my family and my agent also.

"I don't know if I'm going to be successful here, time will tell, but I'll do everything to be successful.

"I'm the type of player who will fit into the system. I like to run, create chances and have got good shots with both legs - all the tools to make goals in the Premier League."