Talking to FourFourTwo Thailand, Swiss-born midfielder Charyl Chappuis reveals that one of his career regrets is turning down European powerhouse Juventus.
Born to a Swiss father and a Thai mother, Chappuis grew up in Zurich. There were two famous clubs in town, Grasshopper Zurich, and Zurich FC, and Chappuis’ father was a real Grasshopper fan.
But surprisingly, Chappuis’s favorite player didn’t play for either of the Zurich clubs.
“Roberto Baggio was the first football idol who I looked up to,” he said.
“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.”
Chappuis became internationally recognized when he was part of the squad that won the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
“After the U-17 World Cup, my dad and I got calls from agents around the world. There were at least 10-15 calls every day.”
Chappuis added that he later received an interesting offer from an Italian club.
“But after winning the World Championship for about half a year, Juventus have made a very real offer. It’s from Luca Pessotto (a Juventus-legend-turned-scout).”
“He drove from Turin to Zurich. We met at a place nearby. I really do not know how my father started the conversation with him first, because my father can not speak Italian.”
“He said he was interested in players like me. He said I read the game well, have good basic and technical skills”.
“Juventus made the official offer, Luca said that I will get a salary. But I do not know much. I refused because I was a frightened boy at the time. I was afraid to go far away from home alone. I’m afraid I can not communicate with anyone. Because I could not speak Italian at the time, I was very shy.”
“He told me normally, Juventus will not return to the player for the second time, but for me, he came twice and I still refused.”