Vogue Italia, Madonna, Vogue 2018

Photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, courtesy Vogue Italia

Superstars: they're just like us, right?

As it turns out, pop sensation Madonna is more like us normal folk than we think—for the most part. The singer opened up to Vogue Italia in an exclusive interview about why she moved to Lisbon, Portugal and how the transition has been on her family and herself. The star, who turns 60 on August 16, has embraced her role as a soccer mom.

Madonna's choice of Portugal as her new home wasn't merely picked at random. After all, it is world soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo's home country.

She told Vogue Italia that her 12-year-old son David has dreamed of playing professional soccer for years. "I've been desperate to get him into the best academies with the best coaches, but the level of football in America is much lower than the rest of the world. I saw his frustration, and I also felt it was a good time," she said. 

Madonna weighed the pros and cons of two other cities before ultimately choosing Lisbon: Turin and Barcelona. Turin, she said, "is not really a city for children." While Barcelona "is a really fun city," Madonna ultimately decided on Lisbon because "it seemed the best all-around choice."

Vogue Italia, Madonna, Vogue 2018

Photography by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, courtesy Vogue Italia

The "Hung Up" songstress is in the process of embracing her inner soccer mom, which "requires you to have no life in a way."

Game times and locations change constantly, which means Madonna and her family must adjust their schedules as needed. "It's impossible to make plans, and then you feel like you're not being fair to your other kids, or being fair to me!" she said.

Despite the schedule fluctuations, Madonna's children have "embraced all things" about living in Lisbon, including participating in sports and art. These activities have helped David and his siblings Mercy James, 12, Stella and Esther, 5, learn Portuguese and adapt to their new home.

For Madonna, the most important characteristic her children develop involves compassion: "I just want them to be good human beings that treat other human beings with dignity and respect, regardless of skin colour, religion, gender." And if her son becomes the next major Portuguese soccer star? Well, "that's just the cherry on the cake."

Read more from Madonna when the latest issue of Vogue Italia hits newsstands. 

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