Cuautèmoc Blanco played his farewell match for Club Amèrica Saturday evening against Morelia. The match ended in a 4-1 victory for the Aguilas, only adding more compliment to Blanco, who is already considered a legend to Mexico fans and the Mexican community as a whole. But in the words of one Univision commentator, “Fans were there more for Cuau than for the victory itself.”
And while the superstar has entered into the world of politics, his place in soccer will not ever be gone. Nor, it seems, will he ever really leave.
Because there is not and there never will be a player like him.
I didn’t get a chance to watch the game against Morelia. But this farewell match and the tweets that I looked at during the match reminded me of a post I put up during Temo’s farewell match with El Tri.
Today we say goodbye to a legend. Even at your age, right now you demonstrate that good talent never goes away. Thank you for everything and always giving your heart to play for our team. #AdiosCuautehmoc #GOAT #ElTri
A video posted by Amelia Lopez □□⚽ (@aztecaameliaaa) on
This was over two years ago and the caption I wrote then is as true now.
Cuauhtemoc Blanco is 43 years old and yet, playing in the game against Morelia, one can see the fire and passion in his heart will never go out. He ended his career with America with 125 goals.
Despite the snub he was given back in 2006 (La Volpe, be real… we all know you didn’t take him because you didn’t like him), what he has done for Mexican soccer and what he leaves as a legacy is so important.
He was a player that wasn’t afraid to take on defenders. His posture and form of moving the ball were all wrong. From a physical point of looking at him, you wouldn’t think he had magic. But he did. He could give through balls where no one else could see it. He could chip the ball effortlessly with three defenders coming at him. Even during his last game with America, he could still pick up the ball and jump through two defenders. He worked hard in the midfield. He wasn’t the fastest player I had ever seen play for Mexico or the Mexican league, but he was the smartest.
Each move was deliberate; the mission was always to win. Even as he missed that perfect chip shot during the 9th minute of his last match with America, you could see his frustration as he saw his nearly perfect goal go past the goalie’s gloves and hit the crossbar. He should’ve made it. He knows what he’s capable of.
Every fan did. Every critic did. (Seriously, La Volpe, why didn’t you take him to Germany?) Mexican fans will never have Cuauhtemoc Blanco again and that is both a blessing and a curse. There is a nostalgia when fans watch Blanco play. Even I, who haven't been alive long enough to really have seen all of the different stages of Blanco's career, am reminded of the man that deserved more chances with El Tri. Of the man that El Tri deserved to have play more games. More tournaments. “Gallito” Vasquez and now Jonathan Dos Santos are some of the closest players in terms of passion and perseverance that are getting close to matching Cuauhtemoc’s passion in the midfield but no player will ever take his place. There was too much passion. There was too much passion. Even if a player does play to that level, it won’t be ‘Temo,” so it won’t be the same.
I say today what I said 92 weeks ago. Thank you, Cuauhtemoc. Even at your age, you’ve shown that natural talent never goes away.