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Defender Chávez has faith in Wisła

Published: Tuesday 1 March 2011, 11.24CET
Honduras defender Osman Chávez has shored up the Wisła Kraków rearguard yet the 26-year-old told UEFA.com: "I am a football player right now, but serving God is my calling."
by Piotr Koźmiński
from Warsaw
Defender Chávez has faith in Wisła
Osman Chávez slides in for Wisła Kraków ©Cyfrasport
Published: Tuesday 1 March 2011, 11.24CET

Defender Chávez has faith in Wisła

Honduras defender Osman Chávez has shored up the Wisła Kraków rearguard yet the 26-year-old told UEFA.com: "I am a football player right now, but serving God is my calling."

Osman Chávez has helped Wisła Kraków shore up their defence since moving to Poland, but footballing success is not the devout Honduran international's only ambition.

Last year I played in the World Cup against players like Andrés Iniesta, Fernando Torres and David Villa. It is amazing how your life can turn in a better direction.
Osman Chávez

Chávez's rise to prominence culminated in the former CD Platense player starring in all three of Honduras's FIFA World Cup games in South Africa. He then signed for Wisła and the 26-year-old has quickly shown his class in Poland's Ekstraklasa, where his side have not conceded a goal in their last five games. However, as he told UEFA.com, sporting success is not his sole preoccupation.

"There is plenty for me to do in this country, not only winning the title with Wisła," he told UEFA.com. "I want to become a pastor. I am totally fascinated by my religion. I am a football player right now, but serving God is my calling. In the future I will become a pastor and travel all around the world speaking about God."

Chávez had been on trial at Celtic FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC and Blackburn Rovers FC before eventually landing at Wisła, where he was joined in the winter by the similarly devout Kew Jaliens. The former Dutch Under-21 international arrived from AZ Alkmaar, with some observers dubbing the duo the most religious central-defensive pair in Europe.

Chávez's path in life and football has been a complicated one, however. Born into a poor family in the Honduran seaside town of Santa Fe, Chávez said: "We were an extremely poor family. We lacked everything, but thanks to God we did not lack the most important thing – the love of our mother. She did everything for me. Even though our home barely deserved to be called a house, we fought for a better future."

That better future was Chávez learning his trade with Honduran top-flight clubs Platense and CD Motagua before taking to the world stage with his national team last summer. He recalled: "Last year I played in the World Cup against players like Andrés Iniesta, Fernando Torres and David Villa. It is amazing how your life can turn in a better direction."

Having a similarly positive influence on the lives of others remains a long-term goal for Chávez, yet first he and Jaliens want to help 12-time Polish champions Wisła to a third title in four seasons. Their 1-0 victory at lowly Arka Gdynia on 25 February put them level on points with leaders Jagiellonia Białystok, who are bidding for their first Ekstraklasa crown.

"This club has a winning mentality so we must win the title, there's no other choice," said Chávez. "The Arka match was extremely difficult, not only because it was -8C but because Arka played well and we only scored the winner in the 89th minute. That's why I feel we got something more than three points there – we also gained confidence for the games ahead."

And for Chávez, of course, belief is everything.

Last updated: 01/03/11 13.18CET

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