The Bilingual Reporter program is designed to encourage local youth to be proud of their heritage and language. Students are nominated by their teachers and then apply to have the opportunity to interview a Timbers player or a member of the coaching staff. Following the interview, the selected students are required to write a report about the experience in English and Spanish. With a professional interview, the students are able to further develop their bilingual speaking and writing skills while exhibiting a passion for the sport.
- Learn more about the Bilingual Reporter program and read Giselle Lopez Ixta’s article on midfielder Jorge Villafaña
Martínez: For how many years have you played soccer?
Chara: As a professional, this will be my tenth year playing soccer, but I started playing since I was four years old. So, I have been playing soccer for around 23 years.
Martínez: Have you played any other sport?
Chara: When I was younger I liked basketball, but I loved soccer more.
Martínez: What is your favorite sport to watch on TV or in person?
Chara: Let’s see… I think it is soccer. My country watches soccer the most and I would say I love watching soccer the most.
Martínez: How old were you when you first started playing soccer?
Chara: I started at the age of four in a sports school called La Ceibas in my home city Cali. There, I started my path to becoming a professional soccer player.
Martínez: At that moment did you realize you wanted to become a professional soccer player?
Chara: I never said nor thought that I was or was not going to become a professional, but I tried, and thanks to God I did. I believe it was a difficult path to travel. Right now, I’m here and happy to be with the Timbers.
Martínez: Did you have your family’s support?
Chara: Always, my father played soccer, not professionally, but we have soccer in our blood. I have two brothers who are also professional soccer players. Well, I believe we have made our parents proud thanks to all the support they have given us. We are happy that they are living happily with what we have achieved.
Martínez: Was it hard becoming a soccer player?
Chara: Very hard; you have to sacrifice many things when you’re young. It was a difficult path to go through, but all those sacrifices helped me have the opportunity I have today.
Martínez: What’s your opinion on the schools that are offer students classes in Spanish that allows students to graduate with a seal on their diploma signifying that they’re bilingual?
Chara: I believe it’s important; Spanish has had an impact on the entire world. There a lot of Latinos here in the U.S, and I feel that the seal will provide students with a lot of opportunities.
Martínez: How do you feel knowing that there are children in this world who look up to you as an idol?
Chara: It’s great. I feel it’s a good thing and at the same time it’s a lot of responsibility because children look at you as a model to follow. You need to have good behavior, and try to be a good role model for the children. That’s what I want children to notice because I want them to also reach their goals.
Martínez: What advice would you like to tell the children?
Chara: To not give up: they should fight for what they want, for what they yearn. Also, work really hard, because it’s possible to achieve your dreams.
Martínez: Who’s the better player: Messi, Ronaldo, or yourself?
Chara: We all know Messi and Cristiano are very recognized and have had very successful seasons. To me, they are the best in the world because of their efficiency. However, they both play in different positions. To choose the best player I’d have to see them play in every position. God gave them an advantage because they are the ones who score goals.
Martínez: Are you happy with the life you have?
Chara: Yes, I’m really happy. I have my family with me; we’re all in good health. My parents are still alive. My brothers are also well. I’m really happy, though at the same time wish to achieve all my goals. I believe things occur one step at a time, but at the moment I’m happy with the life I have.
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