Calangute, India | AFP
The statue of Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has caused a stir in the southern Indian state of Goa, with its residents accusing authorities of being negligent in honoring a sports star from a former colonial power.
Following the unveiling of the statue in Calangute this week, several protesters with black flags gathered at the scene.
The protesters expressed their anger that the authorities had ignored the sports stars in India and instead selected a player from Portugal where Goa gained independence in 1961.
Mickey Fernandes, a former international from Goa, described the election as “painful” and experienced a “hangover” from Portuguese rule.
“Ronaldo is the best player in the world, but we still have a statue of a player from Goa,” Fernandez told AFP.
Much of present-day India gained independence in 1947. On the other hand, after the armed conflict with the Portuguese colonial powers, Goa became an autonomous region in 1961, governed by the Indian federal government, and was recognized as a whole state of India. In 1987.
Michael Lobo, a regional minister and a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), justified the choice, saying it was based on the desire to uplift the youth not only in India but also internationally.
“All the boys and girls who want to become professional footballers will be inspired by people like Cristiano Ronaldo,” he said.
“If they pursue their dreams with enthusiasm, they can achieve their goal. That is what we (the statue) have on board,” he added.
The remnants of the Portuguese presence are most visible in the area, with local architecture, a significant number of churches and many citizens having names and surnames of Portuguese descent.
Unlike other parts of India, many people in the state prefer football to cricket, and many fans of the Portuguese team in international matches such as the World Cup.
“I follow him (to Portugal) too, but we can’t set up a statue of a foreigner when we have our own soldiers,” Fernandes explained.
By Daniel Arevalos
“Life surprises you,” reads an old phrase, but it would be more appropriate if we put into context the reality of a young man who tried to be a football player, but it was very difficult for him because of the distance, the lack of logistics. Support, but he was able to get into football.
Juan Kodoi, also known as “Paraguayan Shakiri”, conducted his training sessions at the Independente CG and had his time at Martin Ledesma in the B and Intermediate divisions, but the chances of improvement were not high, although conditions did not diminish.
Then one day she decided to work and study despite her father’s emotional support not to stop training until her dream came true.
He studied agriculture until the third year, for which he worked the farm and the masonry. But his desire to play was still hidden and in the middle of his studies and work he also played in the interior leagues of both Canindeyú and Curuguaty.
“I did a little bit of everything from working on the farm to being a mason and paying for my studies. Yasi Kanye is a small community, there are not many job opportunities, so what can be done, ”he explained in our interview.
But one day, a new hope appeared to play again on a professional level. He was invited by a person to take him to Bolivia to try in a group, the desire and dream returned, and he embarked on a journey (2017). The first destination was the Guabirá Club, where the foreign allotment was already overcrowded and suffered its first setback.
He then went on to test a second division team called Enrique Hopp, where he stayed for a season. In 2018, he joined the Independente Petrolero Club. In 2020, Stormers graduated from the San Lorenzo Club, and in 2021, he returned to the Independent Petroleu, where he was promoted to the first division after 18 years.
Juan Cinforiano Kodoi, known as “Paraguayan Shakiri” on the football field, is similar to Swiss footballer Xherdan Shaqiri, who currently plays for Olympique de Lyon in France’s League 1.
Kodoi was born in Carao (Cacauz), but grew up in the Canyon region, entering the best history of Bolivian football, winning the championship with the Independent Petrolero de Sucre, and in addition to the club’s first title, he also wrote the winning goal in extra time.
He also became the second player to score 11 goals in the league, beating his teammate Martin Prost with 19 goals.
“In principle, no one trusted our team and everyone said it would fall because we won almost every game and we played equally at home and outside. But we trusted the team. I always had to enter alternately, but I still scored goals. In the last game I scored the winning goal. I scored and it served the championship in 96 minutes, ”the forward recalled.
“It was undoubtedly the most important goal of my career in the first division because it would go down in the history of the club.
It has always been said that after the good campaign of Juan Codo in the ranks of the Independent Petrolro, there will be rematches in football, and now he will be hired by Quabira next season. The same club rejected him several years ago when he went to try Bolivian football.
“I agreed with Guabra for the 2022 season that he was our rival in the final and we beat him 3 to 2. God is ready to take part in the Copa Sudamericana,” he insisted.
“The Independente suggested that I continue in this company, but Guabirá’s offer was so positive that I accepted it. Someone is always thinking about the future, I am already 28 years old,” Paraguayan Shakiri explained.
Kodoi knew all of Paraguay football, and he was a big fan of Olympia’s sports because he was a fan of the strip, but he also focused on matches for Copa Paraguay, especially when he played for Sport Bago, which was the Yasi Cane team.
“I always followed the Paraguay tournament, I’m a fan of Olympia, we hung out with Gustavo Cristaldo (his partner at the Independent), he’s from Zero Portino,” he said.
His greatest desire was to play in the first division club of Paraguayan football, although he knew it was too complicated, but impossible. “I want to play for the Paraguay team, who would not? It’s best to play closely with family in your country. I hope I get that opportunity someday. It’s a dream and goal for me,” he said.
When he leaves active football, Juan Kodoi is clear on the path he wants to follow, first continuing and completing his studies on agriculture and then studying as a physical trainer.
“My dad would always tell me that I was not old enough to study and that I could only train for a few days for football, so I would continue my agronomy studies and then study as a physical trainer.”
“My intention is to help the youth of my community (Yasi Kane). Personally, I ‘struggled’ a lot to make progress because it was not easy for someone living in the interior to move to the capital in search of an opportunity. ”
“My family property has a playground where we can run a football school in the future and try to encourage talented children and young people to play,” he commented.
“Everything in life is not about money, many people think only of themselves, but happiness cannot be bought with money. I believe that helping others progress and showing them the way is very important and gives them a special satisfaction,” said Independente Petrolero de Bolivia.
Libertad is all set for the 2022 season. Roque received the most classic reinforcements like Santa Cruz and William Mendieta, for which he had to give up many top young players to other teams.
The first players to be confirmed on loan from the main team were right-handed Rodrigo Gonzalez and forward Marcelo Fernandez. The two will play on loan at Tacuary, one of the newly promoted clubs.
The 21-year-old González has been sidelined with a hamstring injury and is out of action throughout the 2021 season, while Fernandez has had several chances to replace him, but at Cumarelo they want to give him more shooting in professional football.
Libertad already owes two footballers to the Barrio Zara club, including the well-known, left-back Nestor Kimenes.
“Beer fanatic. Bacon advocate. Wannabe travel junkie. Social media practitioner. Award-winning gamer. Food lover.”