Premier League goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes has spoken about how his faith in Jesus changed his life.
The former Tottenham Hotspur keeper, who has plied his trade at Watford since 2014, plans to retire at the end of the season, and reflected on his career in an interview with The Independent.
Post-retirement, the 38-year-old Brazilian plans to become an agent, helping to bring young South Americans to England and helping them to settle – much as he did as a player.
Commitment to Jesus
The transition for young players moving to a new country with limited language skills can be daunting, but Gomes went out of his way to help the likes of Wilson Palacios, Giovanni dos Santos and Sandro while at Spurs.
He says his commitment to helping others comes from his commitment to Jesus.
“I have done this with my heart. I have done this because I love to help people. Not only in the football world but outside as well. That is my type, that is Jesus’ type.”
Power to change
Gomes worships at the Christian Community of London, an international church which is popular among other Brazilian Christians.
He spoke of God’s amazing power to change people, saying: “God is opening the mind of the people, that is why people are changing.
“I was a Catholic, my family is Catholic, but Jesus just grabbed me by the hand and said ‘this is the way I want you to follow’.”
’Jesus will change you’
Gomes continued: “People think religion will change you, Jesus will change you. It is very important to me to follow him.
“Some people are in church, but they are not changed. Some people take religion to hide themselves, and when they are out of church, they behave the same.
“If I behave on the pitch, I have to behave off the pitch as well. I have to be an example.
“Religion doesn’t change people. Jesus, when you accept him, will change you.”