Felipe shares his story and experiences and how he discovered that his true home is where his family is. Follow along with our Hispanic Heritage web series and get to know more about some of our Spanish speaking players. Para leer en español haga clic, AQUÍ.
Felipe Gutiérrez is a midfielder recognized and loved by the fans of Sporting Kansas City. The 32-year-old Chilean player is a familiar face on the pitch and has called Kansas City home twice now. Gutiérrez has been a player with a long career that has taken him to various places around the world. However, throughout his soccer career, he has discovered that no matter where he is, as long as he is with his family, he feels at home.
Born in Chile, Felipe grew up in a close-knit family environment. To this day, much of his family lives there and he considers Chile home. Gutiérrez is very proud of his roots and always speaks with admiration about his country of origin. Describing his native country as a beautiful country with diverse environments and landscapes that highlight its beauty. What he also loves about his native country is the freedom and lifestyle that is lived there.
“I have had the opportunity to see a lot,” said Gutiérrez. “But I also have teammates like Roger [Espinoza] and [Graham] Zusi who have visited Chile and loved it. And the truth is that it is a beautiful country, especially southern Chile. The north has many very beautiful things, but the south of Chile, even just driving on the roads. It's very nice, but I don't know, I think the country in general has a little bit of everything. The desert, a lot of vegetation to the south, the mountains, the volcanoes, the rivers, lakes. So, it is a country with a lot of diversity of landscapes that you can fall in love with anywhere. If you like technology, Santiago is two hours away. From Santiago you have the mountains where you can ski and two hours away you have the beach where you can swim. Everything is very connected, very close and it is a very wonderful country.”
Gutiérrez began his soccer career in Chile playing for Universidad Católica. There he played the first three years of his career, adding 65 games, 19 goals and growing in his sport. Following his great performance at Universidad Católica, Gutiérrez had the opportunity to go abroad to play with a new team.
"In 2012 I went to the Netherlands,” Gutiérrez said. “A completely different culture, a completely different world. But I really like what I do. So, as long as I'm good with soccer, the truth is that what happens around me is not an issue. for me," says Felipe. For him, soccer and family are the two fundamental pillars that allow him to adapt to the constant changes that his career implies.
Throughout his career, Felipe has played on several teams, representing different countries. From FC Twente in the Netherlands to Real Betis in Spain, Internacional in Brazil, Colorado Rapids in the United States, to Al Wasl in Dubai, he has experienced a diversity of cultures and lifestyles. However, regardless of location, he has always found stability and a sense of home in being with his family.
"For many it is difficult to adapt when you leave your country, but the truth is that I had the possibility of always being with my wife, who is the person who makes me feel at home in Chile, so I think that with her everything is much easier," Gutiérrez said.
His wife has been his life partner and his greatest support in every football adventure. Together they have formed a solid team and have overcome the challenges of living in different countries.
"She has been my adaptation to the world and the truth is that we have been a balance to each other and that has led us to maintain the marriage for so many years. W have now been married for ten years and I think that always having been with her has made everything much easier."
As time has passed, Felipe has become a father and has understood that the transition can be difficult for his children as he moves constantly. However, he and his wife are committed to being a home for his children, beyond any physical place. As a close-knit family, they firmly believe that home is where family is.
"Yes, the truth is that wherever we are together we are good,” Gutiérrez affirmed. “So in that sense, last year we spent six months in Dubai and we had a great time. The year before we went to Denver for six more months and had a great time. The truth is that, as I mentioned, as long as there is soccer and we are together as a family, everything is good.”
Despite living in different parts of the world, Felipe Gutiérrez has found the true essence of home in his family. Soccer has given him the opportunity to explore different cultures and experiences, but his family has been his anchor, his refuge, and his place of belonging. For him, family unity and unconditional love are the pillars that make it possible to adapt to the constant changes of the sport.
Gutiérrez has discovered that true home is where his family is. Through soccer and their unconditional love, Felipe and his wife have created a welcoming and family environment for themselves and their children, demonstrating that the family unit transcends any physical place.