Q&A with Jair Benitez

FCD Century Club member talks BBQ, Texas & Chigüiro

On Saturday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Jair Benitez became just the 12th player in franchise history to make 100 starts for the club and only the second player(Drew Moor) to do it exclusively under the FC Dallas name. In honor of the Colombian joining the FC Dallas Century Club, we sat down for a quick Q&A with the man known as "Chigüi."

What's your favorite memory with FC Dallas?

Winning the Western Conference Championship in 2010 against the Galaxy in Los Angeles.

What's your favorite thing about living in Texas?

The weather, I definitely love the heat!

Off the field, what's been the hardest thing for you to adjust to?

English, for sure. [Tuesday] we started English classes and I probably should have already learned English, but this year I’m focused and have the mindset to get my English done.

Has your family learned English well?

Yes, my wife.

Explain the origin of your nickname "Chigüi" AKA Chigüiro (Pronouncd CHEE-WEE)

A friend of mine in my neighborhood when I was small, maybe ten years old, he called me that and ever since then it’s stuck. People around Colombia have always known me as that. 

*Note: The Chigüiro is a mammal known in America as the Capybara. It's the largest rodent in the world and a common food around South America.

What is your favorite restaurant in Dallas?

Cheesecake Factory (one of Jair's only answers in English).

What's your favorite away city to travel to in MLS?

Los Angeles.

Who is the toughest opponent you’ve defended against in MLS?

Beckham.

Do you plan on staying in Texas after you’ve retired?

Yes, for sure. I already bought a house here, so the plan is to stay here and be a Texan.

What’s one Texan habit you’ve picked up?

Bar-be-que.

What are your favorite hobbies outside of soccer?

Watching TV and dancing.

What are your favorite TV shows? 

Besides soccer, of course, it's Discovery Channel, for sure. I also like action movies and Colombian soap operas.

Your seven-year-old son Geronimo has spent much of his life in America now, does he act more American or Colombian?

He’s definitely more American! He speaks more English than Spanish!