Paulo Gallardo loves soccer (football) and is very good at it. Soon after scoring his first goal for Club Sporting Cristal, one of Peru’s “Big Three” professional clubs, he announced that the would be leaving professional soccer for religious reasons. His reason was that he wanted to serve a full-time mission.
Gallardo is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He told the Church News, “Learning about the word of God has changed my life — I have great faith in Him. Now I will be a missionary so I can talk about the word of God with others. I’ll play soccer again, but everything is in the Lord’s hands.”
“Ever since I was a little boy, I dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player and maybe playing in Europe. You have no idea how much I will miss playing. But for now, I need to fulfill a mission for the Lord.”
After his announcement, he encountered hard situations with his family and had “very difficult moments” in his life. He realized that the battle to follow what his heart wanted was not that time. By the end of 2019, he decided to return to soccer. He plays forward for Municipal.