In celebration and honor of all fathers on this special holiday, we asked Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara and defender Liam Ridgewell about their family and how soccer has played a role in their relationship with their fathers and children.
How has soccer played a role in your relationship with your kids?
"I think my family is a very special thing because I have brothers and my brothers play soccer too—professional soccer—and we try to spend time to talk about our experience. My daughters and my wife, they love soccer, and I think it’s a very special part of my life."
Growing up, what kind of role did soccer play in your relationship with your dad?
"I think for our dad, it was a very special connection because my father played soccer. He tried to coach or to teach us about his experience in soccer. I think we have a very good connection with our father."
What does it mean to you to be a father?
"I think, for me it’s a very special job because I have two daughters and they are so kind with me and I love them. For me it’s very special for me to be a dad."
What does it mean for you to be a father?
"It’s a massive thing. [My son] Lucas and I share a special relationship. The things he makes me at school and anything he makes me at home, for Father’s Day is special to me. We share a lot of times—certainly football—together, you know he enjoys it and I obviously I do, so it brings us a lot closer together, that’s for sure."
How has football influenced your relationship with your own father?
"It’s massive. You know, I think probably without my old man, I wouldn’t be where I was today. He took me everywhere—and obviously, my mom did as well—but my dad used to play football back home. He took me everywhere. To every game, every training session. To every game I wanted to watch. Or even down to the pub to sneak me in the back to watch a game. It’s a special bond and one that will never be broken and I’m truly thankful to my old man to be able to celebrate Father’s Day with him. And it comes down to football—it's a big thing and I truly can never be thankful enough to him."