The National Soccer Team. . . . Our Pride!

03/08/2006. Few have been the times one has felt such a great satisfaction as we were given by a group of persons who, coordinated and organized in an excellent way, make up the Ecuadorian National Soccer Team. But this is simply a group of soccer players ready to demonstrate their physical-tactical abilities. No! This is a group of countrymen who were ready to show and to leave on the playing field the best of each inhabitant of this marvellous country: the worker, the newspaper boy, and the mother of a family; each of us felt represented by the national team. And allow me to say to you, esteemed colleagues in sports, that they represented us very well.

Nevertheless, their work has not finished with that, we must look at this as just one more step for our great recognition as a country in all fields; therefore, we must turn the page and continue working, giving our all to make this country a land of great fighters, since you represent an identity, a culture, the love and pride of an entire nation.

We must make sports serve as a fundamental element in which we must see effort, will, and courage reflected in all the activities of the Ecuadorians.

What must be very clear to everyone is that we Ecuadorians did not celebrate a defeat as was expressed in some quarters -- no, sir! This is a terrible interpretation of our happiness. What we Ecuadorians celebrated that Sunday, June 24th, was the dedication, the courage, the effort demonstrated by our players far more than a final score, because even though it is true that we all want to triumph and be first in a competition, it is no less certain that sometimes there are things more important than the score or a medal hanging from one's neck. More important things such as representing one's country, which is reflected in each of the players of this great national team.

Probably you were thinking that I had forgotten one of the most outstanding persons in this example of teamwork; no, not at all. It is just that I wanted to leave Professor Luis Fernando Suarez, the agent of this great work, for this part of my commentary.

I wish to highlight his work, dedication and organization, because as the saying goes, "as much as a virtuoso a canary is at singing, it is worthless if that virtuoso singing cannot be displayed along with the rest of the orchestra. And for that reason I must pay homage to the valuable work performed by Colombian brother, who was always able to act firmly in the face of adversity and with work and discipline, made this group of artists form an orchestra that was never out of tune.

For that reason my enormous appreciation to the maestro of the group, who was able to transmit his knowledge and achieve by daily practice the synchronization and total dedication of my friends in soccer. And from this space I wish to ask Ecuadorians to allow Professor Suarez to have a much deserved rest and then make his own decisions about continuing as captain of this ship named the Ecuadorian National Soccer Team, since without a doubt, I will be the first to praise his decision to continue with the team, but also the first to respect his decision to set another course.

As a final thought I wish to reiterate my profound thanks and total appreciation to each of the members of the Ecuadorian National Soccer Team. And thanks again for convincing us that we have the ability to face the best and with effort and honour, to be the best.

Jefferson Pérez Quezada

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