Last week, Salvador Cabañas of Club America in Mexico City and the Paraguayan national team spoke for the first time after the tragic gunshot wound to his head on Jan. 25, 2010. He maintained a belief that he would play again. Prior to his injury, the prolific striker was rumoured for a move to the Premiership.
I will interpret a few of his responses from an interview with Televisa.
Did you know that people were supporting you?
“Yes, they told me. The truth is, knowing this, was the most important thing.”
What do you do at the clinic? Do you do exercises?
“I’m working on my rehabilitation. Yes, I do exercises.”
Do you want to play again?
“Yes, I still want to play.”
Have footballers visited you?
“Yes, many footballers have visited me. It was strange to receive such support from them and all the fans.”
Are you content?
“Yes, I’m very content. I am getting close to being fully recovered so that I can return to the pitch.”
Are you ready to score goals again?
“I want to give joy to people. It’s what I’m hoping for. It is what gives me hope. Especially with my father and family that came here to be with me.”
Do you want to score goals at the Azteca Stadium?
“Yes, when I play the first game there, I’ll do it again for the fans.”
Do you want to send a greeting to the Paraguayan people who are watching tonight?
“A big greeting to all of Paraguay and the Paraguayan fans. I’ll be back on the field soon. And to the Mexican fans, a great salute to all of you from me…”
“Football gives you many things. This is why I have to return.”
Those were the words of a true champion.
Salvador “Chava” Cabañas has a long journey back to professional football. But one senses that he will return to give joy to his fans. It will remind us that the most important battles occur off of the pitch.
Spanish to English interpretation and translation by Steve Amoia of World Football Commentaries.