Get To Know The Zest: Gabriel Rude
Where did you get your inspiration from to play soccer?
“My father, who loves surfing, took me to my first practice when I was three years old because I was already asking him to start playing soccer. Despite not being a soccer player he always encouraged me to do the sport that I love. I have a family that is very into sports and also having a cousin who plays professionally for the biggest volleyball team in Brazil, called Cruzeiro. That helps me to keep following my dreams”.
Do you have any favorite soccer players you follow?
“I loved to watch Zidane and Ronaldinho play, and nowadays, Neymar is giving me an extra happiness to watch Brazil games as well. The fact that I am a defender makes my favorite player Thiago Silva from Brazil. This is not only because he is really good, but because of all the problems that he had in his life and how he overcome them”.
Are there any teams that you currently follow as well?
“I am a fan of Flamengo, which is my team from Brazil, and I usually like to watch international games especially the Champions League ones”.
Do you play any other sports besides soccer?
“When I was nine I started to play tennis until twelve, but it’s been a long time that I do not play this sport. Moreover, I love surfing because of my father’s influence, and it is the only sport that I do nowadays besides soccer”.
What is your major in school?
“My major is business and I want to open my own company…related to some environmental cause”.
What are your long term aspirations?
“I understand that I have to work really hard to get something professional in soccer for example, and despite that, I believe it can happen. I also understand that I have to focus my career in something else as well, like I said, work with something related to an environmental cause”.
What do you expect playing for the SD Zest in 2017?
“I expect to have a good season, going to the playoffs because that would be a way to see that my work was paid back. I came to try out because I believe I will develop my soccer skills and understanding of soccer being with this team, along with the possibility to move forward in soccer really encourages me as well”.
What advice can you give young and aspiring soccer players?
“I would say to always focus on yourself and keep practicing everyday”
Have you played or would like to play any other position on the field?
“In Brazil I was used to play more as a holding midfielder, and I like to play this position because it is very dynamic. On the other hand, I understand that I play better as a center back”.
What have been some of you biggest challenges or obstacles?
“My biggest obstacle is to be far from my family and my friends that I love”.
How has your technique changed or improved over time?
“Since I came to the United States, I started to understand that it’s always important to keep moving forward, and the American hard work way to handle things encourages me to work hard and try to be better everyday. And I believe that the thing that I improved the most was the understanding of the game, and my physical condition. With this two coming first, the technical improvement is a consequence of the daily work.
What else do you like to do for fun?
“I love to go to the beach and surf”.