- Guatemala will host the Concacaf qualifiers for Lithuania 2021
- Regional competitors runs from 3 to 9 May
- Guatemala coach Estuardo de Leon optimistic about their probabilities
When he was rising up in Zona 18, one in every of Guatemala City’s hardest neighbourhoods, Estuardo de Leon had two paths to select. The first was the simpler: a lifetime of medicine, violence and simple cash, which is one thing he might have executed with at the time, his household being poor.
The second was far more unsure, would take for much longer and wouldn’t deliver him some huge cash. But that second path was the one which he selected. “Football really helped me take my life forward,” De Leon informed FIFA.com in an unique interview. “My neighbourhood was a spot, like so many others in the world, the place it was simpler to get caught up in a lifetime of medicine and petty crime than have a sporting profession of any sort. I used to be fortunate sufficient to stay three blocks away from all the soccer pitches.”
Such was De Leon’s want to make his means in futsal and play for his nation that he made some fairly huge sacrifices, as he defined. “There have been these non-public futsal courts that have been inbuilt 1998 and a few years later Fernando Ferretti [Guatemala’s Brazilian futsal coach at the time] requested me if I needed to participate in some trials he was organising forward of the World Cup, which the nation was internet hosting later that 12 months.
“I’d stopped playing for about a month or so because there were so many players in contention and I was doing a degree in PE/Sports as well. I wanted to finish it on time, so I stopped training. But then I met up with Coach Ferretti and he told me I had a great chance of making the squad. That was when I really started to fall in love with the game.”
The sacrifices didn’t cease there: “I all the time labored once I performed, and in 2000 the coaching classes have been at night time, so I taught from seven in the morning to three in the afternoon and then I went to the courtroom and waited for coaching. Study, work and prepare – that was my routine.
“In 2008 I had to juggle a lot of things. I went to the gym at five in the morning and did an hour there. Then I was at school from seven to one and I went to another school in the afternoon to teach little kids from two to four. I’d also started to coach a second-division futsal team, so that was from 5:30 in the evening to 7:30. Then I’d go and train with the national team from eight at night to ten. And that was my entire 2008, the only year we managed to get out of the group phase at the World Cup.”
De Leon was the captain of a aspect that was going locations. Since making their World Cup debut on dwelling soil in 2000, they’ve solely failed to qualify for the match as soon as and have graced the final three.
“We made really rapid progress and we were lucky enough to have two great coaches along the way,” mentioned De Leon. “In 2000, we had Fernando Ferretti, who has had a long affiliation with the sport and taught us so much. And in 2003, the Spanish coach Venancio Lopez took cost. He’s had a long profession in world futsal, which additionally helped, as has enjoying in worldwide competitions and arising towards top class groups like Brazil and Spain and the golf equipment from their leagues.”
The man in cost
Though his enjoying days are behind him, De Leon’s love for and bond with futsal stays as robust as ever. It was a logical step for him to take over as coach of his beloved nationwide staff forward of the Concacaf qualifiers for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™, which Guatemala will likely be internet hosting.
“I think Guatemala are in a really good place,” he added. “Just as we did in the previous couple of qualifiers, I can see the boys making it to one more World Cup. I believe we are able to even make the closing of the qualifying competitors and win it.”
De Leon will likely be passing on all his expertise to his gamers in his first main check as coach: “I made plenty of errors once I was a participant, the type of errors that I’m ready to anticipate now and inform the gamers about. I may anticipate the type of conditions that crop up in matches so we are able to take management of them.”
Having ready Guatemala for his or her subsequent World Cup qualification problem, De Leon is eager to be part of Ferretti and Lopez in making his mark on the historical past of Guatemalan futsal. Unlike them, nevertheless, he realized his commerce on the courts and streets of Guatemala and in its neighbourhoods.
Determined to obtain one thing huge with the nation he loves, he added: “I’d love for us to go down in history. We’ve got it in us and we’re ready for it too. We need to walk the walk now. We’ll see what happens in the tournament, but we’re going to have a shot at making history by qualifying and trying to go further at the World Cup than we’ve ever done before and make it past the group phase. I’m so excited about being able to do my bit for Guatemalan sport.”