Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Bailly explained, "In Africa, there are people that live in much more difficult situations but, yes, as a child I started working.
"I've had luck with my father's help but I also had to work," the centre-back revealed.
"I had a program after training in the afternoon in which I would go in front of my house to do various things and the phone boxes was something I did to earn some money and to resolve some of my issues.
"I cannot always rely on my parents. They've always tried to help me, but I had to do something to be able to get what I wanted."
Zlatan and Rooney's reaction to Eric Bailly's winning MOTM 😂😂😂pic.twitter.com/ydmOyuyMAF— 90min (@90min_Football) August 15, 2016
Bailly's football career took off when he was spotted by Espanyol and made the move to Spain to join the club's youth team. He joined Villarreal in January 2015 after just half a season in Espanyol's first-team and was made into a £30m player by United only 18 months after that. To say his rise has been meteoric is perhaps an understatement.
Looking ahead to this season with United, Bailly said, "I think that with all the hard work we're putting in we are going to demonstrate that we are again a world class team."
The 23-year-old is set to line up for United's second Premier League game of the season this weekend when the squad travels to south Wales to face Swansea.