When Lucas left his La Coruna home at the age of 15, he dreamt of becoming a professional footballer.
Living alone can be a challenging experience, particularly at such a young age, but the Arsenal forward feels his time away from family and friends taught him valuable life lessons.
- Watch Lucas' first Arsenal goal
- How Lucas changed the game at Preston
- Quiz: How well do you know Lucas?
“When I left my home in La Coruna to play in the Basque Country, I was only a kid with high hopes - dreaming of playing professionally,” Lucas told Arsenal Player. “I spent a year and a half there. It was my first time away from home without my family and it was hard. That’s when you start to mature.
“Then I went home for six months. After that I went to Madrid for four years. Once again I was without my family or friends.
“Being that bit older and a little more mature, I learnt many more life lessons. You learn how to survive on your own, how to prepare meals and how to do your washing. These are things you don’t do as a child because everything is done for you by your mother or relatives.
“You learn much more from difficult times than from good times. You need to have gone through some tough times to appreciate the good.
“I’m at Arsenal now which is great but you never know when things might change. When you’re having a bad time, be aware of what’s happening.
“When you’re having a good time, make the most of it and appreciate what you’ve got.”Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source