Amidst his footballing days, Letter F caught up with Arthur Irawan . Coming from a Jakarta-based football academy, his career started off as one Manchester United staff watched him play and told him that he naturally got the potential for being a professional football player. The opportunity to play in RCD Espanyol B came to him after he had spent two years in Manchester United Football Academy. Then, he played for another football clubs, such as Malaga B, to Waaslan-Beveren in Belgia. Now, Arthur has come back to Indonesia, to play for his home country.
Who inspires you these days?
“For me, when hobby becomes occupation, the sensation is different. We enjoy our hobbies while taking a full responsibility. And honestly, what drives me on to this job is the fact that I become more religious.”
What’s the hardest thing you ever experienced in football?
“The first year of my professional career. The training method was so different from here. I needed to adapt with the exercise pattern. Plus I had to adapt with the surrounding, the language, even to the weather. In that very year, I learned a lot and after that I could follow the rhythm around.”
How did you overcome all the fear on being in a new place?
“That was when my faith kicked in. I found something in religion. Things that I can’t find the answers in reality, I put my faith in Him.”
Ever experience homesick?
“Call me weird but I didn’t really feel homesick. But I felt a little lonely as I lived alone abroad. I mean when someone study abroad, he probably will have a social life. But for an athlete, we fancy our rest time as we trained our physics every day. We need to maintain our health, so rest time is important. Other than that, I didn’t feel so much different.”
What do you do in your spare time?
“I like to read sometimes. I used to watch TV series and play games, but lately I feel more content when I read something. Reading is one of my platforms to learn new things. I even still read newspaper daily, just to know what happens in the world and what’s new. And I really like reading religious literature and books about life.”
So besides football and reading, what’s other activity that you enjoy?
“My whole life revolves around football actually, but I like playing basketball too. I’ll try to play whenever I can. Oh, and I like fashion a lot too. It’s like another hobby that I look up to. I mean as a football player, it comes with it. I like streetwear a lot, like Fear of God, or something that’s not too mainstreamed.”
Do you feel like you need to be fashion-conscious?
“Not at all. I’ll just shop when I have the time. I mean, it doesn’t have to be the newest thing, I’ll just buy something that I like. And it depends on the country I live in too. Like in Europe, I used to wear more funky things. But here, I dress down a bit. Don’t want to look a little crazy. I think there’s a balance in fashion and I know how to maintain it well.”
Name one fashion stuff you always bring or use!
“I wear watch all the time. I’m a Rolex guy.”
And football player also famous with their unique hairstyles, have you styled up yours?
“I’ve had many kind of hairstyles. I had a mohawk before, I’ve been bald too. But right now I just want to grow my hair. But I don’t want to color my hair, I’ll keep the black jet hair.”
What’s your greatest desire as a football player?
“I believe 99% of football players in the world want to win trophies as their ultimate goal – to win games and all, because I have that desire too. Yet genuinely, I also want to have an impact on society. My goal right now besides winning games, I have a personal ambition to make an impact for the country and as a human being. In some sort, to help others.”
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Editor: Olivia Elena
Photographer: Ganang Arfiardi
Fashion Stylist: Salsabila Sari
Digital Imaging: Rendra Martin
Videographer: Iqbal Safei