Gustavo’s struggle is real
Paez knows he needs to impress at Chiefs so he can stay in the country
THE political turmoil back in Venezuela is what drives Gustavo Paez, pictured, to continue fighting to become a great success here in South Africa at his club Kaizer Chiefs.
And that’s because the 27year old striker doesn’t want to go back home and raise their soon-to-be-born child with his wife in a country that’s currently undergoing a political upheaval.
It is the current Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, who is the cause of the social unrest in the South American country.
Maduro has been insisting on establishing a super-legislature known as the Constituent Assembly, which will see him gain the status of a dictator. A god among mortals so to speak.
Paez, who joined Amakhosi on a twoyear deal in the middle of last season, stated that he didn’t even bother going home to visit the rest of his family back in Venezuela in the off season break.
The potent centre-forward opted to pay his sister, who now lives in the United States, a visit instead. He said it was safer there. “Venezuela is going through a difficult phase right now with all of its politics and social unrest and all,” Paez says.
“I tell most of my South African friends that this, right here, is paradise compared to where I come from. Buying something as basic as food, is very difficult back at home. Their hospitals aren’t that great either.
“My wife is pregnant now. She’s right here with me (in South Africa). The baby is due to arrive in late December. The plan is to be with her until the baby arrives and we’ll possibly make a trip to Venezuela to see the rest of the family back at home afterwards.
“And that’s why I always give it my all whenever I’m given chance to play,” He adds. “My contract says that I have two years with the club and I’m hoping that with my efforts, I’ll able to play many more years to come (here in South Africa).”
Just this past season, after having joined Amakhosi in the mid-season transfer window, Paez managed to score five goals in all competitions of the 18 matches he’d played in for the club. And this past weekend, the Venezuelan striker hammered in a brace in a 2-0 win against Township Rollers to progress to the final of Maize Cup tournament out in the NorthWest. And though his English is not that great to have fluid conversations with his teammates, Paez adds that he doesn’t really stress much about that aspect of his life, as he only needs his feet to do all the talking for him for his at the club.
“I try to talk to my teammates as often as I can (to help improve his English),” he chuckles. “But I have found it easy adapting at the club, mainly because all I really need is my feet to play the game.
“If I’m able to score goals in training, and a possible one or two in game situations, then the language barrier is not much of a problem for me.”
Meanwhile, Paez stated that he hoping to be a regular for the Glamour Boys going into the new season, however, adds that he would really need to work his socks off in order for him to break it into the team’s starting line-up more regularly.
“When I first arrived here at the club,” Paez says. “My primary focus was to make sure that I adapted to the club way of doing things, their style of play and also getting to know my teammates well enough as well.
“It was coach (Steve) Komphela who gave me the chance to play. He’s a very intelligent man. I know that I’ll now have to work even harder (to be a regular in the new season), and I’m willing to work for it.
“I want to score at least 10 goals (and then take it from there). That’s a minimum target I have set for myself (for now).”