GERMAN LEGUIA AND PERU’S NATIONAL TEAM

After a 30 hour bus ride from Guayaquil, Ecuador to Lima, Peru – I got to meet a legendary Peruvian soccer player: German Leguia. German was kind enough to tell me stories about the world cups he had participate back in 1978 and 1982 with the Peruvian National Team. He also talked about the conditions under which they played as kids in Peru and his loved for Club Universitario de Deportes!

“Let’s be honest, the soccer fields were terrible. They were dusty and with little grass. The soccer balls were huge and heavy, same as the soccer shoes, extremely heavy. We had no brand shoes under the military government. Imports were prohibited, so, we used shoes made here that weighted over 2 kilos. It was even funny to play like that, we learned to play the hard way but once we played in nice fields it was easier to adapt.

I had a lot of offers from many teams but I stayed in Universitario because of the emotional attachment to the team. Nowadays, players kiss the team’s jersey and the next session they are on another team ending up in an average of 10 different teams. That emotional attachment to a team is gone. I tell kids to keep the love, to love soccer and that will lead your path to the national team.

World Cups are unbelievable and the organization of such event. In moments you are playing with teams like Argentina in 1978 who had major stars.  Or, seeing players like Zico or Pelé at the event and the opportunity to play with the best of the world. These are players that I saw on TV, and now asking myself: “Would I be there as well next to them?”.

It’s like a national holiday back home when we represent Peru in the World Cup. I always said, not even the man who step on the moon will feel what I felt by being in a World Cup! To dress the National Team’s jersey, in my case the Peruvian jersey, is the biggest honor! it doesn’t have a price tag!”

 

 

HOME OF ECUADOR’S NATIONAL TEAM

I was invited by Vinicio Luna
Director of Logistics in the Ecuadorian Federacion of Soccer
To meet with Yagna Romero, one of the architects in charge of this monumental sports complex called
“La Casa De la Selección”.
Now, she doesn’t know that Im coming
and she tends to get a little nervous in front of the cameras
Lets see how it goes.

I have arrived to the Home of Ecuador’s National Team.
I am in the altitudes of Quito, where breathing is difficult
Lets go inside

This is Architect Romero
“No, you have to speak”
“And Vinicio Luna is going to hide now”
“I already spoke right?”
“He did speak already”
“You see, now is your turn”

This is the presidency room of the Home of Ecuador’s National Team
Administration gathers in this office every Monday and Friday

I will die without seeing my national team in a world cup
That’s what Ecuadorians used to say

This is the Press Conference room
Whenever the team is here, they gather with Management and Press

Here we have 5,400 meters of construction
It was a complicated construction because we are on mountains
so everything was build over man-made fillings

Now, we stop saying that we are not going to make it to the world cup
now we have been in 3 world cups
and the fans should support positively so that Ecuador goes to to the next World Cup

This is the gym for the mayor national team

I was impressed by the beauty and high tech this complex offers.
No wonder is considered one of the best in the continent.
I guess this explains why Ecuadorian soccer has evolved so fast.
But I wanted to know if youngsters have access to this place as well,
and this is what Vinicio told me…

For example today is playing D. Quito and U. Catolica in mayor league
so, we also have 12, 14, 16, 18 and Reserved Divisions playing at the same time
that’s why soccer has evolved here, now on these days we have 5 divisions playing unlike the past times
check out the view, at night looks like Christmas, full of lights

Ecuador’s has evolved it’s game
we already have been within the top 10 in FIFA’s ranking
now people talk about Ecuador’s soccer

This is the soccer field we are going to see
This is the lower lever field
the coliseum
There was games today from the 17 years old
before, the youngest divisions used to play in inhumane conditions outside this complex
in fields of dirt or stones
so, we are here to give them access to the best fields as long as they take care of them

Where are we now?
In the dressing room of the National Team

Now we are used to win at home
we don’t even like to see our National Team in a tie game
thats because we won 7 games out of 8 locally
only having 1 tie game in the last qualifiers

This is the polar pool, Sauna, Jacuzzi…
This is the famous jacuzzi where players danced in it before a game

We have 3 blocks of bedrooms in this complex
2 blocks are used by the first team
and the 3rd block is for younger divisions

We should go with the mentality of being world champions
to go as far possible, lets not put limits to ourselves

This is the eating area, is open so that players have an open relationship with the kitchen staff

Hello, whats your name?
Consuelo Gonzalon
What is the favorite dishes that players preferred?
it could be a chicken soup, plantain balls and hen stew
where in Ecuador do you come from?
I am from Ibarra
ah, is beautiful there
thank you so much for your time

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TODO ES UNA PELOTA

Es increíble la facilidad que tenemos para jugar al fútbol con cualquier cosa que se pueda patear. Nuestra hambre de bola ancestral nos hace patear una piedra, la cabeza de una muñeca, una lata aplastada, entre otras cosas, creyendo que en realidad es una pelota. Sudamos la camiseta con cualquier pedazo de cualquier cosa. Una facilidad de transferencia de objetos que sólo existen en el fútbol sudamericano.

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DOCUMENTARY SERIES

In my journey to raise funding for our social cause, I traveled the South American roads towards Brazil’s World Cup 2014, in the search for soccer’s historical roots, its diversity, culture and to reconnect to my Latin American roots. Along the way, I documented legendary stadiums, personalities and demonstrate how, in many ways, soccer is being played in this continent.

EARTHQUAKE IN ECUADOR

In April of 2016, an earthquake with a moment magnitude of 7.8 hit Ecuador. This catastrophe left 671 dead, only in the province of Manabí. Today, displaced kids are still living in emergency shelters in the cities of Manta, Portoviejo and Jaramijó (Province of Manabí). Our objective is to create a space for the kids to open up and express their emotions after experiencing this catastrophy, using soccer as a tool.

HOW TO HELP

Donate! We need your support to continue promoting resilience in these affected communities. With your help, we will be able to continue working in the emergency shelters and contributing to improve their living conditions. This aid will be used for general equipment such as soccer balls, training vests, uniforms and other materials that will benefit 300 girls and boys. We choose to work through local partners like “Fútbol Más” because they are intertwined with the communities, they know the needs of today and will work alongside the communities during the recovery and development phase of tomorrow. Todays emergency done right builds opportunities for the future.

CONTACT US