- In July 2019 Álvaro Dionisio arrived in Portugal from Argentina, excited at developing his career but after a year he had still not been paid
- He remained confined to a house for months, with no money, along with about 10 other footballers in the same situation
- With the help of the Portuguese player union SJPF he decided to take legal action against the club that brought him to Europe
“The worst point in my nightmare in Portugal was between July and August 2020. I’d been there for a year, I hadn’t received a penny of my salary, I’d only played eight matches and I’d never been paid. I was shut away in a house with only enough money to buy food, far away from my girlfriend. It was devastating.”
The words of the 23-year-old Argentine midfielder Álvaro Dionisio give only the barest idea of the dramatic situation a footballer goes through when he finds himself caught in the web of swindles and player trafficking far from home.
Dionisio was one of nearly 25 Argentine players who were hoodwinked by a group of fake agents, posing as investors and managers from the lower divisions of Portuguese football.
Today, almost two years after his nightmare began and having recovered and now playing in Greece, he opened up to FIFPRO about his dramatic experience, in order to prevent any other footballer who is trying to find his destiny in European football from falling into the same snares of lies and betrayal.