Thank you, Mexico.
Thank you, Mexico, for playing friendly matches in the United States. Through these matches I have met some amazing people who became great friends and are now my #PVAFamilia. Through these matches I have found a way to bring my culture and share my passion with my son, a second generation Mexican-Puerto Rican-American who loves soccer and the Mexican National Team, who is experiencing his first World Cup, and who found a hero in Chucky Lozano.
Thank you, Mexico, for beating Germany. Watching my son raise his hands and shout “gol” at the top of his lungs was an experience I will forever cherish. Watching him enjoy his first World Cup was amazing and your grit and hard work against the reigning champions was a magical experience for him. We spent the rest of the week recreating that game in our living room, between other matches, with a nerf ball and mini goals. He refused to take off his Mexico jersey, we would have to take it off at night and wash it while he slept. Every morning he would wake up and put it on himself, refusing to wear anything else and much to the dismay of his mother. That win inspired him, “Si Se Puede, Papa” he would say to me as we ripped another panini pack open searching for the elusive Chicharito sticker. That win increased his passion for the game. He couldn’t wait for practice, trying moves he saw Chucky Lozano do on the pitch with his little size 11 youth boots and size 3 soccer ball. His desire to emulate Chucky led him to cut his hair like Chucky, begging me to “make my hair spikey, Papa” every morning. A new ritual that took precedent over brushing his teeth.
Thank you, Mexico, for losing to Sweden. Watching my son cry and yell at the television provided me the perfect opportunity to make him a better sportsman and person. We had a long talk about working hard, never giving up, losing with dignity, and coming back stronger. I
showed him photos of Chicharito rallying the team and explained to him that real winners don’t get mad they get stronger. That loss, as
painful as it was, showed him that even heroes lose but that what matters is how they fight back.
Thank you, Mexico, for your valiant effort against Brazil. You did not lose today, you won. You won a lifelong fan. You won the heart of my son. You won the appreciation of a father who has lived through 8 World Cups but who has never experienced one like this one, my first World Cup with my son.
Contigo Siempre, Sergio.