Category Archives: fútbol

Futbolín Humano, Human Foosball and Taca Taca

Image source: kurafire

While writing an article for Fox News Latino about Rapimoto, I had the opportunity to interview the owner of the company, Bernardo Bravo. Our E-mails went back and forth a few times and Bernardo mentioned to me that he had another company where he sells “cosas muy curiosas” – so I clicked over to see what these curious things might be.

While I found a lot of fun, interesting things, the Futbolín Humano definitely got my attention. In English we know the game as Foosball or Table Football/Soccer. Carlos calls it Fútbolito, but some countries call it Futbolín. Chile seems to prefer the term “Taca Taca” for the game. Whatever you call it, the game takes on new fun when you become part of it as you do in the version called “Futbolín Humano” (Human Foosball or Taca Taca Humano.)

Here’s regular Futbolín:

Image source: ccarlstead

And here’s Futbolín Humano:

Love this version with school children. Wish we had these built on playgrounds in the United States:

Hey look, there's even Futbolín Gato ... who knew?
Image source: ClintJCL

Wii Fútbol

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation below!

Ultimamente Carlos y los niños han jugado un juego de FIFA fútbol en Wii. A mi me encanta mucho el fútbol pero no entiendo cómo uno puede pensar que este juego de video es divertido. Agitando un control remote de el Wii no tiene nada que ver con pateando una pelota de fútbol, pero Carlos y los niños sigan gritando “gooooool!” como están ganando la Copa Mundial.

Chécalo!

ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Lately Carlos and the boys have been playing a FIFA soccer game on the Wii. I love soccer very much but I don’t understand how one can think that this video game is fun. Shaking a Wii remote control has nothing to do with kicking a soccer ball, but Carlos and the boys continue shouting “goooooal!” as if they’re winning the World Cup.

Check it out!

Will Ferrell Answers all Spanish Questions, “Chicharito”

Actor/Comedian Will Ferrell appeared during halftime of the Colombia vs. Mexico fútbol game last night to promote his new movie, “Casa de mi Padre.” Hilarity ensued. Chécalo!

Fútbol vs. Football

Apparently Super Bowl Sunday is this weekend. I really can’t stand American football, (although I played with the neighborhood boys as a kid just because I thought it was fun to get tackled), but watching it is something else altogether. Aside from good snacks and the occasional funny commercial, I’m really not interested in what seems to be almost a national holiday of sorts.

Ni modo, my friends at mun2 sent over this hilarious video which demonstrates the necessity of keeping your head in the game, whether you’re playing fútbol or football.

(Warning: towards the end of the video it gets a little “vulgar” as my mother would say, otherwise carry on.)

Buying Cleeks at Pito’s

As a lover of languages, the bilingual family dinner table conversations we have each night are one of my favorite parts of the day. Even after all these years, rarely is dinner the silent clicking of forks against plates. There’s always something to talk about, and usually plenty to laugh about.

My older son: I decided I’m definitely going to try out for soccer next year.

Me: Okay, very good.

Carlos: We need to buy him cleeks.

Me: What are cleeks?

Carlos: Cleeks! Cleeks!

Me: Cleats?

Carlos: That’s what I said, cleeks!

Me and the boys: {trying not to laugh}

Me: {sounding it out} CllleaTS!

Carlos: Cleeks!

Me and the boys: {giggling}

Carlos: Fine, we need to buy him tacos.

My older son: Tacos? What the heck, Daddy?

My younger son: Mmm, you get to eat tacos at fútbol practice.

Me: Tacos means cleats.

My older son: Now that’s just weird.

Carlos: Benjamín [a Mexican co-worker] says they have nice ones at Pito’s.

Me: Pito’s? Where’s that?

Carlos: You know where Pito’s is. Next to Target? With the sports stuff.

Me: You mean Dick’s Sporting Goods?

Carlos: Yeah.

Me: You guys call it Pito’s?

Carlos: Yeah.

Me: You know that ‘Dick’ is a perfectly valid name, right? It’s the nickname for Richard.

Carlos: {shrug}

Dick's Sporting Goods store, now also known as "Pito's" at my house. Image source: CMG0220

U.S. Latinos: Never Offsides When It Comes To Team Loyalty

BY TRACY LÓPEZ

(Originally published on CafeMagazine.com on June 17, 2010.)

During the World Cup, entire nations come together in collective celebration and hope, but for first and second generation Americans in the United States, the World Cup is a reminder of roots and identity.

For U.S. born Latinos, team loyalties are often split between the United States and the land of their parents, grandparents or even more distant ancestors. For naturalized U.S. Citizens and other immigrants, team loyalty to the land of their birth is often even stronger, but is this a source of pride or confusion?

In search of an answer, I put the question to my diverse group of friends on Twitter, “…1st & 2nd generation estadounidenses – Do you root for the country of your roots, the US or both?”

The answer was unanimous; there’s enough love in the hearts of fútbol fanatics to cheer on more than one team.

For Diana Estigarrbia, (@destigarribia), her love of fútbol is split three ways. “I root for Argentina [and] Chile (parents’ roots); [and] US (my birthplace) now that we have a decent team!” she told me via Twitter. Displaying equal love for traditional American past times, she added in E-mail, “I remember Argentina’s win in 1986. It was a big year for me – the New York Mets won the World Series later that fall, and I had a World Cup victory!”

Elianne Ramos, (@ergeekgoddess), also responding to my Twitter question regarding fútbol loyalties, said, “1st Argentina 2nd USA!”

Other answers proclaimed with just as much certainty that a dual citizenship in Fútbolandia is possible.

“The homeland of my kin first, then the U.S.A. My family is from Argentina. So, how can I not root for those soccer kings?” said Veronica Jarski. (@Veronica_Jarski)

Luis Tobon (@thelox714), also expressed a desire to root for both, saying, “I would [root] for both but the issue is that Colombia has not made it to the World Cup since France 98 and did not make it far.”

Ana H. Blackstad (@AnaBlackstad), said “Both Mexico & USA!”, elaborating, “My Dad was born in the US, raised in Mexico, my Mom was born & raised in Mexico. My loyalties are with both.”

Silvia answered via E-mail, “I’m from Mexico and of course my roots are with them, however the three people I love the most in this world, (my husband and two kids), are from the USA, and I’m also a US citizen, so I root for the USA as well.”

For my husband Carlos, a naturalized U.S. Citizen of Salvadoran birth, watching the World Cup and rooting for the United States doesn’t feel like a division of loyalties.

“El Salvador isn’t playing this time so it’s easy for me [to root for the United States], but if El Salvador makes it to the World Cup again some day, I would root for both.”

When I asked him how it feels to see his U.S. born children waving the red, white and blue, he shrugged and smiled. “I’d be happy to see them root for El Salvador, but it’s their choice and they were born here, so I understand.”

Hollywood… El Salvador?

[Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. For the English translation, please scroll down. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments!]
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Caminando en las calles de El Salvador, encontramos muchas cosas inesperadas. Por un lado, había hoyos tan grandes que pudieron comer totalmente a mi niño menor, (¡Ojo en una esquina cerca de Parque Libertad! Había un hoyo que se parecía a un pequeño Boquerón.)

Un hoyo suficiente profundo por meter la mitad de tu pierna. San Salvador.

Después de casi dar un paso en cosas asquerosas o peligrosas, formé el hábito de mirar por dónde caminaba. Un día cuándo fuimos caminando por el museo Tín Marín, yo estaba sorprendida por encontrarme a mis pies, unas estrellas como las que están en Hollywood.

Había sólo tres estrellas que estaban un poco descuidadas y sólo son para los atletas salvadoreños. Estaban en la acera en frente del Estadio de Mágico González.

Desde que regresamos a los Estados Unidos, han arreglado el estadio adentro. Ojalá que arreglan las estrellas, (aunque tienen cosas mil veces más importantes en que pueden usar el dinero ahorita.) También espero que un día deberian añadir estrellas para La Selecta de Playa.

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[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Walking the streets of El Salvador, we came upon a lot of unexpected things. For one thing, there were holes big enough to completely eat up my little boy, (Look out on a corner near the Parque Libertad! There was a hole there that looked like a little version of the Boquerón.)

[The "Boquerón" is the nickname of San Salvador's volcano crater.]

After almost stepping in disgusting and dangerous things, I formed the habit of watching where I walked. One day when we were walking to the Tín Marín museum, I was surprised to find my feet standing on stars like the ones that are in Hollywood.

There were only three stars that were a little uncared for, and they’re only for Salvadoran athletes. They were on the sidewalk outside Estadio Mágico González.

Since we’ve returned to the United States, they fixed up the stadium inside. Hopefully they’ll fix the stars, (although they have things that are a thousand times more important that they could use the money for right now.) I also hope that some day they add stars for the football players of La Selecta de Playa.

On This Day, We Are All Mexicans

BY TRACY LÓPEZ
(Originally published on CafeMagazine.com on June 21, 2010 as part of their World Cup coverage.)

In a world divided by borders and intolerance, there are rare moments to be savored which bring people together, and inspire an outpouring of love and unity. Often times it’s a natural disaster like an earthquake, such as the one that shook Haiti earlier this year. Other times we’re brought together by a political event, the death of someone loved around the world, or by a religious celebration – but sometimes we are unified by an amazing triumph, such as Mexico’s historic 2-0 win over France.

When East Germany erected a wall, then-President John F. Kennedy stood on the steps of the Rathaus Schöneberg in 1963 and, declaring his support for a free and united Germany, said “Ich bin ein Berliner” – or in English: “I am a Berliner.” In the shadow of the 9/11 attacks against the United States in 2001, as the entire world stood in disbelief and grief, many countries declared in solidarity, “On this day, we are all Americans.”

And on June 17, 2010, as “El Chicharito” Hernández scored the first goal and led “El Tri” to victory, it felt as if, for a brief moment as we shared in their pride and glory, that on this day, we were all Mexicans. In the words of the English singer Morrissey, “I wish I was born Mexican, but it’s too late for that now.”

From Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa, to El Ángel de la Independencia in Mexico City, fans cried tears of joy and sang “Cielito Lindo.” Mexican-Americans, Latinos of all nationalities, (and believe it or not, a few gringos too), couldn’t help but be swept up in the moment, and maybe – just maybe – we shed a tear or two as well as we watched the triumphant band of brothers, their jerseys stuck to their bodies with sweat, embrace each other as the song, “One Day” by Matisyahu echoed over the pitch.

“…All my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
for the people to say
that we don’t wanna fight no more
they’ll be no more wars
and our children will play
one day…”

-One Day by Matisyahu

Humildes Pescadores convertidos en Super Fútbolistas

[Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. For English, please scroll down. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, please leave your link in comments!]

Por la primera vez en su historia, el equipo nacional de El Salvador, La Selecta, clasificó a la fase de cuartos de final en el Mundial de Fútbol de Playa.

La parte de la historia que más me inspiro, es que todos los muchachos en el equipo son humildes pescadores. Su primer entrenador del equipo, Israel Cruz, tuvo fe en ellos y les ayudo a pedir sus pasaportes para que pueden viajar a los partidos. También él se asuguro que los fútbolistas llevaran una dieta alimenticia balanciada porque unos de los fútbolistas tuvieron años de no comer ni una manzana. Estaban acostombrados en comer nada más que tortillas, pescado y frijoles.

Cuándo están en las islas dónde viven, los jugadores andan descalzos – y por eso, están bien preparados por jugar fútbol sin zapatos.

Hasta el momento, el equipo ha ganado casi 35 mil euros en premios. Si ganan el Mundial, Israel Cruz dijo que sus deseos son muy simples. “Ellos todo lo que piden es una lancha y un motor para pescar”.

Les deseo buena suerte, en el partido final, y en la vida.

Lee más aquí:

La Prensa Grafica

El Diario de Hoy

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

For the first time in their history, the national team of El Salvador, La Selecta, made it to the quarterfinal phase of the Beach Soccer World Cup.

The part of this story that inspires me most, is that the young men on the team are humble fisherman. The first trainer for their team, Israel Cruz, had faith in them and got their passports so they could travel to games. He also made sure they were eating a more balanced diet as some of the players hadn’t eaten an apple in years – they were used to eating no more than tortillas, fish and beans.

When on the islands where they live, the players go around barefoot – and for that reason, they’re well prepared to play soccer without shoes.

Up to now, the team has won almost 35 thousand euros in prize money. If they win the World Cup, Israel Cruz says their desires are very simple. “All they want is a [new] boat and a motor for fishing.”

I wish them good luck, in the game, and in life.

El Salvador – Random Fun

Here are photos of some of the random fun things we did in El Salvador.

First on the list was to make a visit to Golfito Park at La Gran Vía, because we received a special invitation from the owner, Carolina who is the sister of my friend (and jefa!) – Ana of SpanglishBaby.

Golfito Park is a miniature golf course for children and has other attractions as well, including a zip-line, bumper boats, moon bounce, and more.

Our younger son had a lot of fun and Carolina was super amable. We had a nice chat and she gave us a lot of ideas of other things we should check out. She even walked us over to Viva Espresso.

Why would we go to Viva Espresso? Because Viva Espresso is home to the best barista in the world – Alejandro Mendez. (That’s not just my opinion! He holds the title!) I was looking forward to meeting him but unfortunately he was on tour.

After we said goodbye to Carolina, we walked around the area and came upon the “bungees” which are a common sight in the shopping centers of El Salvador. The first time we saw these trampoline/bungee cord contraptions, the boys watched a little kid flying into the air, screaming at the top of his lungs, and swore they would never go on one.

Every time we walked by a bungee they stared though, and I could tell they were both trying to work up the courage.

“Get in line,” I said.
“What?! No way!” they said.

I told Carlos to go pay and shoved the boys into line. They continued to protest and attempted to leave the line several times.

“We already paid. Don’t waste money,” I said.

They watched the kids in front of them take their turns, the line got shorter. They begged me and then when they saw it was getting them no where, stared at me in silence, hoping I’d change my mind at the last minute.

Carlos whispered to me, “Are you sure about this?”

I told him I was. I knew that they would regret it if they left El Salvador without trying it. I knew that it would give them courage later in life – that they’d be able to look back on this and remember how brave they had been… I knew I was forcing them for their own good, and hoped that I wasn’t scarring them for life.

Finally it was their turn. The boys each obediently climbed onto the trampolines. Our younger son told the man strapping him in, “No muy alto. No me gusta.” The man nodded, but I went over and repeated that he wasn’t to spin him or do any of the extra tricks with him since it was his first time.

As for my older son – when he climbed up on the trampoline, the attendants rubbed their chins and then had a quick whispered chat before bringing over more bungee cords due to his size. As they added reinforcements my teenager shot me a look which meant he was very unhappy with me.

Once they were strapped in and got to jumping though, smiles crept onto their faces.

Our younger son became so delirious with joy that he began to laugh maniacally. People walking in the plaza stopped to watch and pointed at the funny kid laughing his head off on the bungee. His laughter was infectious. Everyone in the area was smiling. A man noted that it was my child making all the noise since I was snapping photos. “Está bien feliz, vá?” he said – (He’s really happy, isn’t he?) – I agreed that he was and breathed a sigh of relief that my boys hadn’t been traumatized.

Another new thing the boys got to try was a Salvadoran playground. You wouldn’t expect a playground to be different but when we went to Parque Balboa in Planes de Renderos, our younger son climbed some stairs and then said, “Hey! Where’s the slide?”

Carlos had to demonstrate how to use this “slide.”

The swings were different too, but he didn’t need help figuring them out at least.

While in El Salvador we also got to hold a Tío’s parrot.

And we watched a pick-up fútbol game in Parque Cuscatlán. It was nice to see young people playing instead of walking around the malls.

I also liked that a girl was playing on one of the teams.

We also went swimming.

While we were in El Salvador we often saw women carrying things on their heads. Our sons were totally fascinated with how the women did this – particularly when the load looked large, heavy or precarious.

So, anyone who saw my son walking to the pool and carrying his towel like this, my apologies. He was just practicing.

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