Before we got to know Julio Canelo, we simply called him „the toothless guy“. He greeted us with a friendly and loud Hello every time he saw us. It kind of creeped out the girls. It still does, actually, but us guys enjoy a chat with him every once in a while. About Germany, about Pimentel, but mostly about football.
I used to be a professional football player. I played all over Peru. Cusco, Arequipa, Chiclayo. We spent a lot of time on the road and in expensive hotels. In my mid-twenties I had a serious knee injury, but I was very lucky to recover without any long-term damage. What destroyed my career was not an injury. It was too much alcohol and too many women.
Julio calls himself „El hijo del pueblo“. Everyone knows him. He now earns his living running errands and doing small jobs for people in Pimentel. Going for walks with our office dog Kira, taking care of our neighbor’s garden and looking after the house when he is gone for the weekend. For the picture he squats down like back in the days, as if he was posing for a group picture with his football team.