Charyl Chappuis: I regret turning down Juventus

FourFourTwo Thailand catches up with Thai football star Charyl Chappuis to talk about winning the U-17 World Cup with Switzerland, rejecting offers from big European clubs and life at Thai Premier League team Suphanburi...

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With his boyish looks and football skill, Charyl Chappuis is easily one of the more recognisable footballers in Thailand. The Thai international recently returned after an 8 month rehabilitation stint to recover from an injured knee and FourFourTwo decided to check up on him...

How are you doing after such a long injury break?

It's not easy being on the sidelines for 8 months, especially when you see your teammates playing and enjoying the game. Nevertheless, I have a strong ambition to come back and help my team Suphanburi and of course the Thai national team too.

Has this been the longest break in your football career?

Yes, it has. When I went back to Switzerland after we won the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup, it was just for a vacation. Before coming back to Thailand, I went through a normal health check, and it was a shock to find out that I had suffered a serious injury to my knee. I was looking forward to playing for Suphanburi this season but the doctor said it was best for me to rest for a while.

Actually we’re here today to talk about your football career. How did it all start?

I started playing since I was 5 years old. At first, I was just having fun with it but the more I played, the more it became my important part of life and that’s when I realised I wanted to be a football player. My family gave me full support to chase my dream and my dad often took me to training himself.

Chappuis with Suphanburi president Warawut Silpa-archa

Do you remember if any game in particular made you fall in love with the sport?

It’s really hard to pinpoint when and why I like football but as far as I remember, I would watch games with my dad in the evening and we really enjoyed the moment. Having seen my father happy with the game made me want to be the man on the screen, I guess, and from that point on, I started playing everyday.

What is your favourite team?

My family were based in Zurich, and there were two famous clubs in town; Grasshopper Zurich and Zurich FC. My father was a real Grasshopper fans so I followed him.

Then your first football idol must be from Grasshopper?

Not at all, Roberto Baggio was the first football idol who I looked up to. He was really famous during the 90’s and I liked him because of his style of play. I always wanted to be Baggio, he was the real star of the Italian team and the world’s best player.

Do you have any other footballers you like?

Actually after Roberto Baggio, I had an opportunity to watch the Argentina national team in the 2001 U-20 World Cup. They were superb and packed with famous player like Javier Saviola, Andres D’Alessandro and Maxi Rodriguez. After the World Cup, these Argentine stars moved to Barcelona so that’s when I started following the Spanish giants. There’s also Cesc Fabregas who I have liked since he was playing with Arsenal. He’s a midfielder of pure class.