Soon after unveiling Mexican international striker Nery Castillo as the Chicago Fire’s new Designated Player Saturday night, we put out an edict to our fans to submit your questions for an exclusive Q&A with the Chicago-bound forward.
We received many very good questions, relating to his time with the Mexican national team, his club career and even some that were very personal in nature. Check out what Nery had to say below….
Angel Medina asks…
Who has been your biggest professional influence to this point in your career? Why?
I would just say my family, who has always supported me. There is no specific person in soccer that has had a particularly significant influence on me. In general, you learn things as you get older, with experience, in soccer and in life. But my family's support was always constant, and that has always been very important to me.
Manny One asks…
With you coming to the United States, are you planning on getting an English nickname?
Some people call me "Beto," which came from "Alberto," as in "Nery Alberto Castillo." Maybe in the United States I will earn a new nickname.
Kevin Ortega asks…
How do you see yourself fitting in the playmaking role for the club?
I have played as a playmaker most of my career -- with Olympiakos, with the Mexican National Team. I like to play behind the striker or strikers, and have the freedom to be creative.
Hernan Leon asks…
How did you decide to play for the Chicago Fire instead of all the Mexican teams that were looking for your services?
I could have gone to Mexico. I chose to come to Chicago because they showed real affection and faith in me. Now I have to repay that faith with my performances on the field.
Twitter user CySuBallz asks…
With the huge reception that Cuauhtemoc Blanco received when coming here, how do you feel Mexican fans will receive you here?
I think they will receive me with joy. When I play, I want to make them happy. I want them to say, "Thank you,” with goals, wins, and hopefully a championship.
I know there will be many Greek fans as well; obviously I have a history in Greece, and my wife is Greek, and it will feel good to have a relationship with Chicago's Greek community.
I want to have a connection with the fans, but not only the Mexican and Greek fans -- with all those that support the Chicago Fire.
Twitter user Abe_S asks…
Nery have you ever been to Chicago and what do you know and think of the Chicago Fire?
I played for Mexico at Soldier Field in the 2007 Gold Cup Final against the United States, but I haven’t yet played at Toyota Park. I had a nice experience in Chicago -- it is a very nice city, and I am very happy to be arriving.
I know [Cuauhtemoc] Blanco was there, of course. I am learning more about the team now. I know it is a good team and I am hoping we can win a championship. When he was with San Luis, my father actually played against Carlos de los Cobos while he was playing for Club America in the Mexican Primera. He was my father's friend -- I think that we share that connection and it will be good for us as we begin our relationship.
Facebook user Craig Tower asks…
How do you see yourself fitting in among the existing (Fire) forwards, especially Brian McBride and Collins John? And did you talk with Cuauhtemoc before committing to Chicago?
I have a good relationship with Cuauhtemoc, we have spoken in the past about Chicago and the United States, but no I did not speak to him while I was considering coming to Chicago, because I was making the decision that was best for me.
Brian McBride is a very good player. I think we can form a good partnership. I think that a player with his qualities would benefit by playing with a player with my qualities -- someone who can play off of him and create chances. I think we can compliment each other very well, but I feel confident that I can play well with all of the Fire players.
Julio Pineda asks…
How have you and your family coped with the loss of both your parents last year?
It is difficult, of course. I am dealing with it. I have my wife, my daughter. I have my brother. Together, we support each other. My parents had to leave for a reason. Now I have to continue on.
Peter Sayers asks…
Could you talk about the shoulder injury you suffered during your time with Manchester City? How long did that take you off the pitch and has your recovery been?
I started well at Manchester City, and then I suffered the injury. I was out of action for a couple of months. It interrupted my experience, my rhythm there and eventually things changed at the club. It was not a serious injury in that it would continue to affect me, I am well past it.
Esperanza Nolivos asks…
I heard that you and your wife are expecting twins. Congratulations! Will she be traveling with you to Chicago?
Yes we are. Thank you! My wife will be traveling with me to Chicago.