People know him as the player, but not as a person. Maximiliano Nicolás Urruti Mussa, also known as Maxi, has traveled thousands of miles from his birth place in Argentina to the City of Roses to make history. He lived in Cordoba, Argentina where he studied, but took a big step in Rosario, Provincia de Santa Fe where his life elevated and his soccer career launched!
From first being part of the Newell’s Old Boys Club in Rosario to being transferred to the “Senior Squad” in 2011, Maxi has taken big steps in his career at only 24 years old. After being part of the senior squad, many clubs were interested in him, but he signed with Toronto FC on August 16, 2013. However, Coach Porter has said that the Portland Timbers already had their eye on him and, just 24 days later, Maxi was traded for Bright Dike.
Tuesday, March 24, my heart stopped as Maxi walked towards me. I couldn’t believe I was finally going to meet Maximiliano, the professional soccer player! We introduced ourselves and got started right away. During the interview, Maxi and I had deep eye contact which impacted me as I tried listening to him. He described himself as “happy, kind, and funny.” He also mentioned his love for music and dancing. I was more interested in him as a person rather than him as a player and I believe fans should look at professionals that way.
During the interview, I asked Maxi about the way he handles the pressure from the crowd. He told me he believes it’s not pressure, but rather pride and support from the fans. He said that to cope with the pressure, he likes to listen to music and relax before the game. He thinks about all the hard work he puts through every day in order to be where he is at and that motivates him to try even harder.
A common barrier that many professional athletes face when coming to a different country is the language. At first Maxi didn’t know a thing about the language and it was hard for him to understand anything. Despite the difficulty he never once gave up and until this day he still puts in the effort to learn. He takes English classes to learn the language in order to have better communication with some players. That’s just another example that shows the hard work and determination individuals put in.
After doing this interview I learned a lot. It all happened so fast but was beyond rewarding! Maxi showed me that if anyone wants to do anything in life, hard work, determination and perseverance will lead you there. In his own words, "Perseverance, effort, and determination are the reason why I am where I am right now."
This opportunity, granted to me from the Somos Timbers Reportero Bilingüe Program, was a once in a lifetime experience! It opened my eyes to realize that professionals are still human beings and they are the same as many individuals. They all have needs, a life, and future to look forward to, and are an example of hard work and true ambition.