We dream of football and the world is full of dreams

Monday, November 15, 2010

In Memoriam: Mi primo azul

This is to remember a childhood friend. A father, a son, a cousin. In the dry season we would spend time outside in the driveway. We would play soccer beneath the mango tree. Sometimes with an old soccer ball. Most of the time with a rubber ball or one made out of rolls of duct tape. It didn't matter. It was two against one. My younger cousin and I versus him.

He was always loyal to his team: Emelec of Ecuador. The team of his father and his brother. He taught me to love that team and I made it my own.

In the months before I moved away, we lived in the same house. There, I made up soccer games with G.I. Joe action figures. I named the tournament "Copa AmercoEuropea" and included random teams like Guayana and Andorra, ever the optimist. He would play along with me and would set up the brackets on a notepad and come up with names for all the players. We used tiny wooden stepping stools about half a foot tall and a foot wide as goals. Our grandfather, near the twilight of his life and mainly absent from reality, would watch us play. I still remember when I called "45 minutes" and grandpa said: "Se termino el partido."

My cousin also wrote in the single elimination brackets in my 1994 Don Balon World Cup magazine. I was annoyed. He had picked Bulgaria and Brazil for the final, with the Brazilians as the champions. He was right about that.

I will miss you, my cousin, my friend. You taught me to love the game and in doing so created one of the passions in my life.

This is for Fernando Villalva Velasquez. Soccer fan for life and an Emeleccista all the way to heaven. May you be at peace now.


Anonymous said...


Monica Valero said...

Lindo! historias para compartir con mi hijo, su hijo! gracias!