3/24/2020

A City Story from Mexico City.

What passion lives in the heart of street footballers? As the Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E team hit the streets of the world, we went out with Neel and André to meet those who, like us, follow their dreams with uncompromised passion.

On the streets of Mexico City we joined an enthusiastic team of fledgling street soccer stars for an impromptu kickabout where we soon discovered our inner drive paralleled theirs - and the hunger for more transcends age, culture and background.

This is a Mexican City soccer story.

The roar for every goal, shot or last second tackle, at times can be deafening. Yet it’s not erupting from the iconic Azteca Stadium where Maradona sealed his place in the annals of history, but on every side street, back alley, bare patch of grass or dusty square Mexico City has to offer.

This is street soccer. The beating heart of Mexico’s passions.

As a country Mexico doesn’t do anything by halves, whether it’s music, food, dance or traditions. But soccer, well, Mexicans are fanatical about it. You can hear it on every street corner; drifting out of bars, clubs or open windows on the chorus of a Mariachi band.

Ever since students of Jesuit and Marist priests first began playing football in 1897, the country instantly fell in love with the beautiful game. Soon after local teams and leagues formed and The Mexican Federation of Soccer was finally founded in 1927.

But it’s on the streets of Mexico City where the real passion thrives. Where rival children will shun computer games and the trappings of modern life to kick a ball that lost its last sinew of leather many summers ago, long into the night. And it’s here in the densely populated Santa Cruz Meyehualco that these kids wear T-shirts with their heroes’ names like “Chicharito,” Spanish for “little pea,” scrawled on their backs, and dream of one day playing for El Tri.

So, what drives children to take up the game and play on the unpredictable streets of Mexico City? To ignore the allure of gangs and form tight bonds with their teammates, and choose street soccer over a quick buck or the teenage world of social media?

To children like Marco, Gerson, Alyin, Emiliano, Yair, Edwin, Alexis, Samanta, Diego, Andres and Alenjandro

football isn’t a matter of life or death, it’s much more important than that.

What does soccer mean to you?

Fun and companionship…

Is there anything that would stop you from playing football?

Nothing would stop me from playing.

What means football to you?

Football is a good moment with friends. I forget all of my problems.

Why not stay at home and play on the computer?

Because if I stay at the computer I’m going to go crazy. But with football I can do more things, I can play instead of being stuck to the screen or cellphone.What is the first thing you think when you wake up? The first thing I think off is to have a good day, not only in school but also while training and getting better every time.

How do you feel about growing up in a city as big as Mexico City?

For me growing in such a big city is a big opportunity in terms of dreams…and goals.

Is there any difference on playing with girls and boys?

The truth is that there is no difference. We both have the same potential.

If you couldn’t play football which other sport would you play or what else would you do?

If I couldn’t play football I would make up a game playing with a stone or anything similar.

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