FRISCO, Texas – Andrés Ricaurte is a triple threat. Not only is he a professional soccer player, but after finishing his bachelors in business administration, he decided to continue his education and pursue his masters in sports management. He also helps out in the FC Dallas front office as an intern for different departments.
Ricaurte is currently enrolled at the Johan Cruyff Institute. He finished his bachelors while playing soccer in Colombia.
“I'm trying to take the next step in my education. I've always liked mixing the administrative part with the sport. It’s two passions I have and I feel like the sport aspect helps me with the school aspect,” the FC Dallas midfielder said.
Ricaurte has interned with the human resources, accounting, and media departments, as well as stadium and event operations. “As a player we tend to ignore what goes on in the back because we have everything set up for us,” he continued. “Whether it’s for games or training sessions, everything that goes on around us the staff facilitates for us players.”
“In the office environment you can see the hard work and dedication that goes on behind the scenes. You see the effort everyone puts in to help run the organization within each department. It’s been a great experience so far, I’ve had the opportunity to see how everything works. I am able to meet new people and value every single person that puts in their part.”
While balancing his busy schedule, Ricaurte has to stay organized and manage his time efficiently: “I think the hardest part is being disciplined. As a professional soccer player, we have a lot of free time, and sometimes we don't use that free time wisely. It’s time that we should be making the most out of and I decided to use it for school.”
The 29-year-old Medallín native uses lessons he has learned on the pitch to help him out in school while pursuing his masters. “I am able to carry the different challenges I face in school over to the field. I’ve improved my quick decision-making skills, critical thinking, and I am always looking for better alternatives and solutions,” Ricaurte said.
Becoming a professional athlete is a goal for many, however Ricaurte hopes to inspire young athletes and encourage them to continue their education as well.
“Hopefully I set an example to motivate my teammates and young athletes who think that football is everything you have in life. Just because you play the sport at a high level doesn’t mean you can’t continue in school,” Ricaurte said. “After any successful or unsuccessful career, there are other ways you can continue in the sport or in other aspects of education. The most important thing is to prepare for life ahead, just because you had a great legacy as a footballer, doesn’t mean you can’t also have a great legacy as a human being and set an example for future generations.”