Cuba Soccer, a 4th Place, Ole-ole-ole!

Dmitri Prieto 

The Cuban soccer team.

HAVANA TIMES — I’m writing these lines to congratulate the new Cuban soccer movement.

My readers know that I don’t buy into nationalism, but Cuba’s under-20-year-old soccer team just came in fourth in a regional competition!

Now — for the first time in decades — we’re qualified for the under-20 World Cup, to be held in Turkey (June-July 2013).

I say “we” because the passion for soccer had been spreading around the island, and it was about time.

I vividly remember my first contact with fans at the1990 World Cup in Italy. Likewise, in 1998 I recall attending the screening of the finals in the theater of the Biotechnology Center, where I worked (I think that’s where the idea was invented in Cuba to show world football matches on a big screen).

It’s great that a team of young Cubans will compete in Turkey. This news is more exciting than the Guinness record for ball control  (bouncing the ball off one’s head while kneeling, sitting, lying, swimming…or who knows what).

Guinness makes a very good beer, but let’s leave soccer for what’s soccer: the game played on the field and with goals.

That child in Ciego de Avila Province whose idol is Messi can now say to his coaches, “I don’t want to be the record holder in ball control, I want to be like the current under-20 team and take Cuba to the World Cup.”

Down with the bureaucracy of control – in sports as well!

Give the ball a hard kick and put it in the goal! That’s what I’m talking about!


Dimitri Prieto-Samsonov

Dmitri Prieto-Samsonov: I define myself as being either Cuban-Russian or Russian-Cuban, indiscriminately. I was born in Moscow in 1972 of a Russian mother and a Cuban father. I lived in the USSR until I was 13, although I was already familiar with Cuba-- where we would take our vacation almost every year. I currently live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Santa Cruz del Norte, near the sea. I’ve studied biochemistry and law in Havana and anthropology in London. I’ve written about molecular biology, philosophy and anarchism, although I enjoy reading more than writing. I am currently teaching in the Agrarian University of Havana. I believe in God and in the possibility of a free society. Together with other people, that’s what we’re into: breaking down walls and routines.

One thought on “Cuba Soccer, a 4th Place, Ole-ole-ole!

  • fantastic news for Cuban soccer! How wonderful that the world game is gaining popularity – not just as a spectator sport, but in participation. Congratulations to the young stars of the future.

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