Silencing The Critics
Kickoff|September 2017

Having joined as a relatively unknown striker, with no eye-popping history of his ability, Gustavo Paez has begun to settle in well at Kaizer Chiefs over the last six months, and is looking to help Amakhosi return to their glory days in the 2017/18 Premier Soccer League season. Everyone took a dig at his journeyman background and they expected to see another failed mercenary unpack their suitcase at Naturena. Oh, how wrong they were …

Chad Klate 

Upon his arrival in South Africa, doubts surrounding his credentials emanated from scores of Chiefs fans as they feared the worst from the club’s attempt at bringing in another foreign player to solve their problems in attack.

However, those doubts have been cast aside as the Venezuelan put out some strong performances, netting five times and providing two assists in his first six months of working in a new environment, in a team with a completely unique culture and pattern of play.

Coming from Venezuelan top flight side Estudiantes, Paez knew he was in for a tough battle to try and impress the Amakhosi technical staff and management, as he looked to earn his 10th professional contract of his nine-year career – a first on the African continent. But he didn’t quite expect his first impression to go the way it did.

“The first day when I arrived at Chiefs, the coach [Steve Komphela] came into the office and he said to me, ‘Make 10 push-ups,’ so I asked, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘Because I’m the boss here – your new coach – and you have to do 10 push-ups.’ So I said, ‘Okay,’ and I made the pushups. He then said, ‘Okay, you look like an intelligent player, I want to see what you can bring to us,’” Paez recalls.

Following his strange first encounter with Komphela, the 27-year-old was afforded a two wek trial upon their return from their mid-season Christmas break, and managed to earn himself a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Glamour Boys, much to his own surprise.

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