Exclusive: Q&A with Peruvian Footballer Gu Rum Choi
This week I had the opportunity to interview Gu Rum Choi. He is a 20-year-old Peruvian football player who plays as a left defender. Choi is a native of Callao, the most important port in the country located west of Lima, the capital of Peru.
After belonging to the reserve team of Ayacucho FC, Choi moved to Cusco in 2018. He debuted professionally in the city of Espinar (3927 meters above sea level) playing for Alfredo Salinas, team with which he played 15 of the 28 matches of the Peruvian Second Division.
Choi talked about his beginnings in football, the reason why he decided to be a professional footballer, his career and his plans for the 2019 season.
Q. What can you tell me about your childhood?
A. It was very difficult and very profitable at the same time. I grew up with my mother, who is a mother and father at the same time, and I realized that winning things has a cost and when you achieve them there is no greater satisfaction and happiness. Thanks to her, I can say that I am a person with values.
Q. Why did you decide to dedicate professionally to football?
A. It was my dream since I was a child. I spent all day on the street playing football with my older brother. My mom was going to pick us up before dark to go home. That's when I realized that I wanted to go further. When I was a kid and I watched football on television, I thought that one day I could move my family forward as a professional footballer.
Q. What is the anecdote of your career that you most remember?
A. When I was promoted to the first team of Ayacucho FC in 2017, I remember that Paraguayan footballer Sixto Ramírez hosted me at his home. I went to live with him and he supported me in everything he could. He and his girlfriend supported me a lot when I didn’t have good financial solvency and I am very grateful for that. This experience marked me a lot because not everyone is willing to let a stranger into his house.
Another great anecdote was during that same time since at that time I coincided in the trainings with Carlos Orejuela. I was always a Sport Boys fan and as a child I always shouted his goals. He has always been kind to me and has advised me a lot.
Q. How was your arrival at Alfredo Salinas in 2018?
A. José Carrion, with whom I met at Ayacucho FC, started working at Alfredo Salinas and since I did not know if I would have space at Ayacucho FC, I was looking for the possibility of having continuity in professional football. He called me and I didn't hesitate.
Q. Your first season as a professional footballer was not the best season for you due to the relegation of Alfredo Salinas. What is your assessment of the 2018 season?
A. It was very helpful for me despite the relegation. I played as many matches as I could as I had an injury midway through the championship when we were still in the first half of the classification. Unfortunately, the injury took me away from my personal objectives and the team's objectives and I couldn't play again. A lot of bad things happened but I think they will be very beneficial as an experience for my career.
Q. How long were you in the reserve team of Ayacucho? How was your stay there?
A. I spent two years in the reserve team of Ayacucho FC. Precisely I was the captain of the team thanks to the confidence of coach Luis Revilla and I was able to score a goal (watch video). My stay was very rewarding since we played many matches with the main team, which gave us more experience to face our matches.
Q. What is your opinion of the 2018 season for Ayacucho? The club had an important upturn in the Torneo Clausura and was close to qualifying for the Copa Sudamericana.
A. I feel that in the end the team found the regularity we were looking for throughout the year. I was in the preseason with the rest of the group and I knew it was a great team.
Q. Is there a league that you follow with special interest like the Premier League or La Liga?
A. I like watching the Premier League matches. I think it's a very tactical, fast and surprising league. One learns a lot because of the great level of concentration and precision shown there.
Q. What is your goal as a professional footballer? Do you aspire to play in a particular team or league?
A. My first objective is to be able to play in the First Division and consolidate myself. One should always aspire high but without losing patience. My first objective for now is just to play in the First Division.
Q. What are your plans for 2019? Will you return to Ayacucho FC?
A. First I want to leave this injury behind (sprained inner ligament in the right knee) and then look for the option to play in a First Division team. About returning to Ayacucho FC ... who knows. If they call me and offer me the opportunity, I will say yes.