André Carrillo: “There comes a point in life where making history is also beautiful”

Andre Carrillo summarizes in his feet the essence of Peruvian football. Good touch, playfulness, elegance and surprise. A virtuosity that has given us many celebrations and heart attacks. Perhaps he doesn’t know it, but on the soccer fields there are more and more children trying to do “the one Carrillo did,” as one of his dribbles is usually called. Not everyone has a nickname that serves as a tribute to the ability to gracefully slip past defenders for a reason.

The ‘Culebra’ is in the US It is part of the team that will play a friendly match against Mexico tomorrow. He appears relaxed, with his golden dreadlocks, always on the cutting edge, always fashionable. He says that he is excited to be with his teammates again and for the process that DT Juan Reynoso has started. At 31, Carrillo looks more mature, but his daring remains intact. So much so that he has launched himself into exploring his other passion: fashion. He is the creative face behind Othermind x Index by André Carrillo, a new streetwear collection from Ripley bearing his stamp.

LOOK: Shortly after the start of the season: Al Hilal announced the renewal of André Carrillo until 2024

-Where are you now in your life?

At an age where I feel mature, at a time where I feel like I’m an experienced player, where I have children, more responsibilities.

-How do you take the role of reference in the selection?

I dreamed, but I did not imagine the career I have achieved, the clubs I represented, the titles I won, always being called up to my national team. You always think that, but it’s hard to make it a reality. I am grateful to life and I advise the boys not to stop working.

-Do you give much advice to the little ones?

I am more relaxed, I am not much to attract attention. Many times I do land the closest ones, but I speak with the experience I have had. I think that each one can speak according to what they have lived, what has happened. Not everyone has the same career. Many can do everything well and not succeed, and others can have a totally different experience. That’s how football is.

-There is a photo of you on Instagram with other colleagues. “My guys”, you titled it. What do they talk about when they don’t talk about football?

Today (Wednesday) that we have the afternoon off we will play cards. Yesterday (Tuesday) they also gave us the afternoon off and we got together with a group and went to lunch to hesitate, clear our minds a bit because everything is not football.

-Can you break that barrier of soccer colleagues and be really friends?

With those closest to us we talk about everything. At the moment I have no business with any soccer player, but there is always that conversation about what to do when soccer is over, what plans you have, knowing how to organize yourself to make the right investments, not waiting until you retire to know what to do. You know what life is like, when you are a footballer you have a salary, but then for various reasons some things go wrong when football ends.

-How do you renew your ambitions, André?

I am in a perfect club (Al-Hilal) to win titles because they have very good players and there is a winning mentality. I have to take advantage of the fact that I am there and that I am a benchmark. It is not easy to win titles. I want to continue making history at the club. There comes a point in life where making history is also beautiful. And at the national team level, now that we’re starting we want the same as always: good football, fighting to go to the World Cup, having a good Copa América. I have four or five years of career left, I want the Peruvian people to remember me with the best things.

-And is it possible to dream of a title with Peru?

In the Copa América I have been third twice and second once. We think about the title, but we are realistic that the rivals we have are not easy. Now that we’re not in the World Cup it’s been a horrible season for everyone, but that’s what it’s all about, getting people used to having good football, qualifying, reaching the finals.

-Was there a key moment that helped you turn the page of not qualifying?

No, because as soon as the game was over I had to go to Arabia. I had to think that if we won the two remaining games we would win the league and enter the history of the club. I quickly focused on returning to my club and that (not qualifying) was left aside. Obviously there is a feeling… in November we would love to be in the World Cup, but we are practically going to be on vacation.

-It is the first meeting of the group after the playoffs. Is there any lag of the theme?

We don’t do anything talking about it. People are more relaxed, although at the time we were all sad. Today it has remained as an anecdote, we even hesitate with that.

-When you qualified for Russia 2018, you met the best version of the fans. After not qualifying for Qatar there was a lot of disappointment. Did any criticism bother you?

No, everyone is within their rights. I know what football is like. When things go well, praise is enough and when things go wrong, criticism will appear. I think they were always respectful, never excessive. And that comes because they trust us, they know that we deserved to be in the World Cup… we know that we were better and we have to assume when things go wrong and move forward.

You have always mentioned Pizarro as a reference. Do you keep in touch with him?

I don’t have a close relationship because I live in Arabia, but when I was in England Claudio called me and told me to go to dinner. With the ‘Loco’ [Vargas] We always meet for dinner, but when I go to Lima I only go for two days and it’s complicated. With ‘La foca’ we always meet to do something, when Paolo is in Lima we also get together. It’s not always, but when we’re together we have a great time.

-Will you write to Claudio at his farewell?

I’m going to send him a little message, I’m going to tell him why he hasn’t invited me.

-Eleven years abroad. Did you always know that the path was not to return?

For me it would have been a setback, although I was always cautious. I played for Sporting Lisbon for several years, but I didn’t have my own house. He told me ‘if I buy something and maybe they’ll lend me’. It’s not that I wanted to return, but I was always cautious, with a somewhat defensive attitude, but not for me but because football is like that, you can get injured or whatever. That is why I never bought anything and that is why I stayed in Lisbon playing for six years.

In Arabia what are the goals?

I am very happy at the club, I am going to stay there. It is a spectacular club where you win titles and the facilities I have are spectacular. My family is happy in Arabia. I just renewed. I stayed this season and they gave me one more.

-Do you listen to the voices that say that you could easily be in a higher league?

I have heard it, people who would like me to play in Europe, but I am happy. I’ve been in Europe for a while and there are times when you don’t feel as loved at the club, you don’t play as often as you want. I am in a loved place, they respect me, better impossible.

And when a player asks you for advice on going outside, what do you tell them?

You don’t recognize the level outside until you pass through it. In addition, economically abroad is more powerful, everyone wants to earn money, live well. That’s what it’s about too. When I advise them, I tell them to follow their instinct, that nobody decides for you. When I was young I knew that I was going to take the first offer from abroad. I wanted to make a career outside of Peru. I remember that in those years abroad there were very few.

-There is still a long way to go, but are you already thinking about what to do after retirement?

I’m not sure yet, but the subject of fashion is always involved. I have a couple of brands that I am working on and now we have created an important collection. I always wanted to do this, but I couldn’t capture it. We did a collaboration where I was surprised, as were the people.

-It is a recurring relationship between the player and fashion.

Nowadays you can’t just focus on football. The social networks, the brands that appear, we have to work on all of that. In the end you position yourself as a footballer, but also your image and everything helps.

-I see that you advised your companions well on the way out to the restaurant.

(Laughter). Yes, happily little by little they are improving.


– “I am more relaxed, I am not much of attracting attention. Many times I land the closest ones, but I speak with the experience I have had. I believe that each one can speak according to what they have lived, what has happened in their life”.

– “When I was younger I used to buy clothes in outlets and then sell them. I have always had that dream of having my own clothing brand. Now the collaboration between Othermind and Index is a great opportunity. I am in the creative part. The collection is available at Ripley.”

– “I don’t have a close relationship with Claudio Pizarro because I live in Saudi Arabia, but when I was in England he called me and told me to go to dinner. Now that his farewell party is coming up (tomorrow) I’m going to send him a little message to tell him why he hasn’t invited me (laughs)”.


Double by André Carrillo in Peru vs. Paraguay for Qatar 2022 Qualifiers. (Source: América TV)

André Carrillo: “There comes a point in life where making history is also beautiful”