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!