#233 Iskel Díaz2018-10-03T15:45:47-04:00

Project Description

LIFE ON THE SOCCER FIELD

#233 Iskel Díaz

“To play all I need is shoes and socks, and with the ones I have, I’ve scored many times…”

Chepina Hernandez / Astrid Hernández

Stivalis Monsalve

Petare, Caracas

At home, they always ask me why I chose soccer if all my brothers play basketball, and I’m like “I like it more, so what!” It’s what makes me happy. I don’t even know how it started, I remember I once went to a pal’s house and they invited me to play, I’ve liked it ever since.

I can’t live away from the soccer field. It’s is my favorite place. I feel good, I feel comfortable. If I go to the mall, I can have fun for a while, but I tire of it. I’m the kind of guy who rathers be either on the soccer field or just stay home.

Sometimes when I walk around my neighborhood, I see people doing bad things; I don’t like that. We have a sports fields, but there are certain areas that are dangerous and make me wish they weren’t there, that they didn’t exist. I don’t really mind them, anyway. I walk away looking forward and never look back. As my mum says, “Just move forward and don’t mind the rest.” She always insists I must graduate and never put aside the good people I’ve found in soccer.

My coach Jesús always says “Life made us friends and soccer made us brothers.” Here we have to work together. We learn not to swear and be disciplined. There was a single time a friend of mine came to the training field with a gun, and the coach kicked his butt really far away. As time passed by, the boy quit those habits and now he’s the best goalkeeper I’ve ever met. Soccer helps us to be better in the world.

I’ve gone through very hard times, but they’ve turned out to be positive later. To go training, I have to take two buses. Sometimes I don’t have the chance to go everyday because I get off school very late on Mondays and Wednesdays. My high school isn’t near home, I study in Los Dos Caminos and live in the José Felix Ribas slum, I’m always rushing, but I like to combine the two things.

I also have a little sore in my thigh. I was told I have a mounted muscle. I relieve it with ice and bandages. That’s because some weeks ago we played against the girls, and one of them hurt me. She hit me with her knee and to, make it worse, we came even in that match.

Jesús taught us how to give the ball a couple of touches and pass it on, but sometimes that’s a bit hard. I focus so much on my own game that I keep the ball to myself. My friends tell me to let it go a bit but if it’s necessary to hold it, don’t let anyone take it!

My favorite play is when you get the ball out of the corner with just a touch. Then, there comes a player running and is about to kick it, but suddenly another one gets there even faster and takes it away. It’s like a distraction. People go nuts about being fooled waiting for the kick. We’re a calm team, but only when it’s convenient… because competing we’re not like that. We like to win a lot.

During the match, I get a bit nervous. I’m afraid of failing and that the other team takes the ball away, but if I don’t score, I just stop thinking about it and move on. When we win, I feel thrilled. I feel good when I see that I helped my team win and that the triumph is all ours.

We want to play for La Vinotinto and be taken abroad to play for other clubs. Once we met Dudamel, the Technical Manager, and he told us to move forward, that in no time we’d see each other again. I always dream of it, I just truly dream of playing for La Vinotinto. I’ve even seen myself wearing the jersey. It’d feel really well!

In the Fratelsa they say they’ll take us to Spain in June, where we’ll meet the Atlético of Madrid. It’d be great. I’m so excited about that. I just need the clothes; the paperwork is almost done. But well, to play all I need is shoes and socks, and with the ones I have, I’ve scored many times…

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